Distinguishing Joy From Happinessby Pastor Huck Kusner on 01/05/15
Have you ever wondered the if there is a difference between joy and happiness?
In searching through dictionaries and concordances, I discovered key definitive words that separate the two. I found the word lucky to be associated with the word happy, and a state of delight associated with joy. Since the Bible tells us, “the steps of a good man are set up by the Lord,” luck has nothing to do with a believer. (See Psalm 37:23.)
Obviously, there is nothing wrong being happy, but happiness is based on a happening. We celebrate happy birthdays or happy new years. In contrast to unbelievers, Christians are continually standing in the favor of God (See Romans 5:1-2). Thus, joy is a state of contentment and the assurance that all is well despite immediate circumstances.
David declared, “How blessed, or happy, is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stand in the path of sinners, nor sit in the seat of scoffers” (Psalm 1:1). The ungodly are unsettled in terms of godly rule over their lives. Sinners remain determined to practice their trade. Scoffers set their mouth against Jesus Christ. Moses chose rather to suffer with the people of God than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season. Therefore, happiness for a sinner is seasonal, and seasons eventually change. (See Hebrews 11:25.)
The prophet Zephaniah declared that the Lord rejoices with shouts of joy over those who are His. (See Zephaniah 3:17). Nehemiah cheered the people on when he shouted, “The joy of the Lord is your strength” (Nehemiah ). When Christians are, so to speak, going through the fire, we fix our hope on the unseen. We remember that God is rejoicing over the fact that we belong to Him, and this hope gets us through tough times. (See John 16:33.)
Joy is powerful. When the apostles were flogged for talking about Jesus Christ, they left the prison rejoicing. (See Acts -41.) The same promises of resurrection that the apostles had are for us today as well, and it all begins with just a little faith in Jesus Christ.
Jesus said that great things could be accomplished with faith the size of a tiny mustard seed. Mustard controls the flavor of whatever it’s placed on. A little faith in Jesus Christ can control the flavor of whatever situation you may be going through right now. May the joy of the Lord Jesus Christ, get you through it.
John 16:33 "These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world."