Happiness is temporal, joy is lasting despite trials. Happiness is an emotion, joy is a state of mind, heart, and soul. The reason Christ encouraged us to live in joy is because righteous living is not easy. Jesus warned us that we will have trouble in this world (John 16:33) and Paul foretold all who want to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted (2 Timothy 3:12). Here's the best news:
- Joy is not dependant on our circumstances. We have joy because of the gift of salvation, because of His goodness, because of God's unconditional love.
- Joy is not based on efforts. No amount of willpower can produce joy because it comes from our relationship with Jesus.
- Joy is not merely an emotion. Joy is looking deeper into our situations and realizing that Jesus is in CONTROL of everything! We need a supernatural outpouring of joy, a filling of His joy, an overflowing of His joy.
Okay really, why do I feel like glitter and sparkly beads are coming from my mouth? Just know that it's not Prozac but Jesus :)