Authored by Blossoming through Books team member CHARLENE DUNT
I am not speaking about happiness here. There is a distinct difference between happiness and joy. Happiness is a quality or a state of being happy. It is a very fleeting emotion. It is based on your fortune, circumstances in life and people centric experiences. Joy however is an emotion of great delight caused by something good or satisfying. Joy is a much deeper emotion and it is found deep within ourselves.CHARLENE DUNT
Discussing the topic of joy might seem strange given we are going through a pandemic and times are particularly difficult, however I would argue that its times like these when we need true joy in our lives the most.
I am not speaking about happiness here. There is a distinct difference between happiness and joy. Happiness is a quality or a state of being happy. It is a very fleeting emotion. It is based on your fortune, circumstances in life and people centric experiences. Joy however is an emotion of great delight caused by something good or satisfying. Joy is a much deeper emotion and it is found deep within ourselves.
One of my favourite bands is King and Country. They had a hit in 2018 entitled Joy. This song had an amazing premise that we can choose to have joy in our lives. In an interview with the band, Joel and Luke said the reason for making the song Joy was to remind us that “You have the ability to… change the way you feel, by making a deliberate concerted choice.” Joel followed this statement up by sharing that “Two years ago, our record label sat down with us and asked what the next stage of our career is,” and “Honestly, the first word out of our mouths was joy. The next stage is joy. There should be joy and not a flighty sense of it, just stumbling around hoping that that happiness might find me. No, there should be a fight for joy, a very passionate pursuit of joy.”
So, how do we choose joy?
Firstly, true joy comes from God alone. It is not something that we need to drum up on our own. We get this joy through the Holy Spirit living in the lives of believers who put their trust in God. In 1 Thessalonians 1: 5-6 it states “Because our gospel came to you not simply with words but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake. You became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you welcomed the message in the midst of severe suffering with the joy given by the Holy Spirit.”
Secondly, as Christians we know that in all things God works for the good of those that love him and have been called in accordance with his purpose. While choosing to respond with joy and contentment may seem strange, as Christians we know that God is going to use our lives for his own purpose and that we can rest in his arms because he has us and will carry us through all circumstances. Genesis 50:20 says “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” Joseph endured terrible hardship at the hands of his brothers, endured false accusations from Potiphar’s wife and neglect from the cupbearer despite Joseph’s assistance. Despite the evil intentions of others God brought about good by using Joseph save many people from an extreme famine.
Lastly, the Bible tells us in all circumstances we are to respond with joy. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 says “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” The Bible is also the way we get strength, encouragement and support. There are so many stories in the Bible where people were able to turn their sadness and sorrows into joy through understanding who God is. In the book of Ruth we read about a destitute Moabite widow (a very difficult circumstance for a woman in that day) and how she found joy in the God of her Jewish mother in law and ultimately hope and a future. In Acts 16 we also read the story of Paul and Silas praying and singing hymns to God while in prison. We can look at those stories and how they were able to change their perspective and trust that through God’s empowering Holy Spirit, we can also have joy filled hearts despite our circumstances.
“Now all glory to God, who is able to keep you from falling away and will bring you with great joy into his glorious presence without a single fault. All glory to him who alone is God, our Saviour through Jesus Christ our Lord. All glory, majesty, power, and authority are his before all time, and in the present, and beyond all time! Amen.” ~ Jude 1:24-25
For King and Country Quote: https://hope1032.com.au/stories/culture/music-news/2018/for-king-countrys-chart-topping-joy-the-surprising-backstory-behind-the-infectious-song/