As I was sitting in church last Sunday, I stumbled on a question. This question was so meaningful that it made it almost impossible to keep hidden…so this is why I’m writing to all of you. The question was…drum roll please…” What’s the difference between being joyful and being happy?”
If you look at the way our world portrays happiness, you will see thousands of words, images, and videos that say that it is surely bought. However if this is true, if happiness is bought, then there must be a different word that describes a deeper, more fulfilling, organic and authentic life. Could the word be joy? When I asked myself that question, that’s when it hit me.
I sat in church with my hair in a high pony, my glasses on, and my eyebrows furrowed. I pondered the differences between joy and happiness. While vigorously jotting down my thoughts on joy, I came upon the realization that joy is not the same as happiness at all. But…why?
The more my pastor spoke, the more I began to understand. I began to understand the true meanings of the two contrasting words. Happiness is a feeling that passes, it’s an emotion. When our circumstances are good we’ll be “happy”, but when they’re bad we’ll be sad. But joy is different.
Joy is surprising, real, and divine. Joy is something that can’t be bought, it’s something within. No matter the trial, joy cannot be robbed.
I remembered back to the time when I traveled to Nicaragua.The culture, and the hospitable people gave me a proper perspectives on life. I saw men and women in complete poverty, yet they were completely joyful. No matter the circumstance, they rejoiced. Why? Because their joy was not in the world, money, or products. Their joy was in something bigger. Perhaps the word happiness is a short term longevity. Perhaps happiness doesn’t last forever, but joy does.
If we live our lives trying to be happy, our circumstances will disappoint us. But it is with Jesus where we find true joy. Jesus is where we find true life.
My pastor brought up four points on how to obtain true joy:
1. Get close to Jesus
2. Practice gratitude
3. Serve others
4. Keep a proper prospective
If you are interested in watching his sermon on JOY, the link is below. EnJOY!