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Saturday, December 17, 2016

25 Days of Joy - Day 17 Happiness Is Not Always Joy

Maybe you've heard it said before, or maybe it's just something that runs in the circles of those of us who studied psychology in college. I don't know, but the concept is that happiness is not joy!

The first time I heard this, it perplexed me.

But, then I opened up y thinking to try to understand what was meant by it.

It's true. We use the words joy and happiness oftentimes interchangeably, and it's true that the two tend to go hand in hand. But, sometimes the two are actually quite different.

Happiness is an emotion that even some of the simplest forms of life is able to experience.
Joy, on the other hand, is so much more! Joy is more than an emotion but is rather something that speaks to our spirit. As strange as it sounds, we can be joyful without feeling happy. It is that peace that passes all understanding when we stand in the midst of pain and sense a deep, unexplainable joy.

Having said that, it's ok to be happy.

The Bible says that God is the lifter of our countenance. This implies that he will make our faces to look happy as he lifts our hearts from heaviness.

Make sure your happiness is grounded in true joy and not in selfish ambitions that create a spark of fleeting happy times but leave no long-lating substance of joy.

Is joy something you can muster up all by yourself? I really don't think so. I really believe that true joy is only found when we are in the presence of God. The Bible says:

You will make known to me the path of life;

In Your presence is fullness of joy; 

In Your right hand there are pleasures forever. Psalm 16:11

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