Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Happiness and joy

A family friend of ours, Paul, is a pastor and he's giving a sermon on Psalm 30 this coming Sunday, and he asked me to help him with part of his sermon. He wanted to get my thoughts about what I think the difference between happiness and joy is, and what gives me joy and helps sustain me as I face life while going through my physical trial. 

Happiness and joy are synonymous with each other in many ways, but there is a difference between the two. After thinking about these questions for a while, this is what I came up with:

What is the difference between happiness and joy?
  • In my opinion, happiness is something that is contingent upon outside factors; factors that might be physical, spiritual or emotional. Happiness is something that has highs and lows depending on how these outside factors are currently affecting your life. Joy, on the other hand, is something that comes from within and is always with you and in every situation – the good and the bad.
  • Joy has a way of helping even the most painful of situations become more bearable.
  • I'm joyful every day in every situation, even though I might not be happy every day in every situation.
What fills me with joy?
  • The number one thing that fills me with joy is my knowledge and understanding of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I would be lost if I didn't know that there is a God and that God loves me. God not only knows who I am, but He has a plan for my life.  Even though I can't see God or talk with Him face-to-face, I know that He is very invested in my life.
  • I know that this life on earth is just a stepping-stone to the next life. I know that one day I will die, but I will live again. Not only will I live again, but I will be resurrected to a perfect body, just like Jesus Christ was resurrected. It will be a wonderful day when I'm free again and no longer trapped in a broken body! 

I hope Paul's sermon goes well and that my remarks on happiness and joy will be well received.


Kim @ Stuff could... said...

This is a great example of the difference between happiness and joy! Thanks

Karen Mortensen said...

Amen. Excellent thoughts.

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