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Happy -vs- Joy

Would you prefer to be happy or joyful? Is there even a difference?

Christian blog woman feeling the joy of God

Sometimes, I think we get caught up in the worldly view of Love. Like if He just understood how I want to be loved, then I would be happy. If she would just give me time to process why she’s so upset, then I could be happy. 

Is “happy” a biblical or a worldly concept?

Photo by Marc-Olivier Jodoin on Unsplash

Daniel didn't say, “This sucks! I didn’t ask to be in bondage to the Babylonian King. The food sucks and my bed sucks, and no one is praying to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob anymore, so I guess I won’t either. I’m so unhappy”.

Did Sarah get frustrated at Abraham when he expected her to live in a tent in the desert and tell him she’s tired of the sand in her bed and she’s moving back to her mother’s if he doesn’t build her a real house with running water? No.

Story after story speaking and illustrating God’s heart for his people has he once said do this and then you will be happy? If it’s in the bible then I must have missed it.

Jesus says, “Take my yoke and learn from me, for my yoke is easy and my burden light.” (Matthew 11:29) 

We can not find easy and light burdens in the ways of the world. Burden in itself means a heavy load. The world says seek counseling (though counseling was very helpful for me at times), watch this video, read this book, to understand why you are so unhappy. Take this pill or drink this nutritious drink, do this workout or fast for 40 days, or, or, or, then you will arrive at the destination of Happy.

Believe me, I have read a bookshelf full of self-help books, taken classes, exercised my body until I couldn’t walk, changed job after job, and so on all in the pursuit of happiness.

As I look back on my life the happiest moments have been when I stopped looking for answers within myself and focused my thoughts and heart in seeking God’s approval of me. 

I said once to someone who was trying to make me feel bad about myself “If you want to pick at that flaw in me then it will end up hurting us both. We have plenty of flaws to pick at until we are both scabbed and bleeding.” That is not the life I want to live. 

Instead, take to focus that has been on your flaws or those of other people…your spouse, your siblings, your children, your boss or coworkers… and seek first the Kingdom of God, keep your focus on Kingdom things and you will be able to shower those around you with the grace and love God showers on you. 

But the topic is on Happy. 

Can a person be angry, dissatisfied, frustrated, or sad when they are rejoicing? Rejoice in God’s love of you, in Jesus’ love to the point of taking up the cross for you. Rejoice that we are no longer separated from God, the veil is torn forever. Rejoice that Jesus is coming soon. 

Happy is a smoke screen meant to distract, diminish, and derail us from the true reason we exist and that is to love God with all our hearts and with all our souls and with all our minds. And the second commandment is to “Love your neighbor and yourself”. Would you pick your own character apart, would you slander or gossip about yourself, would you beat, berate, or ridicule yourself in front of others?

Not if you carried the “Joy of the Lord” in you. 

“The Joy of the Lord in my strength” (Nehemiah 8:10)

Because Joy comes from walking in obedience to God, that takes precedence over happy in my book, in my life.

I would take Joy over Happy any day.

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