Joy vs. Happiness

“Do you know the difference between joy and happiness?”

This was a question that rocked my world a few years ago. Up until then, I thought joy was sitting (okay I was standing and shouting) in the stands at Dix Stadium at a Kent State football game. I thought joy was running my personal best marathon time.  I thought joy was me getting a raise at a job.  But that’s not joy at all.  These moments would be considered happiness.

You see with all the examples above, there was always a external condition that affected my mood.  If I didn’t run my best marathon time, then I wouldn’t be happy. If I didn’t get that raise, then I would be upset.  So what is this sometimes mysterious concept of joy like?

Joy is something found deep in the heart of everybody.  It’s an internal peace that is often difficult to put into words.  During my recovery, God has given me a few glimpses of what this joy looks like. Ultimately, most people try to fill that void in their heart with everything else. Drugs, alcohol, sexual addictions, personal accomplishments, overworking, food etc.  This will always lead to a disappointing life.

Romans 15:13 states, May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

This is what God wants for all of his children.  He wants us to be overflowing with love and joy and to share that with others. In fact, it’s why one of the reasons we were created.  By spreading love and joy we are bringing the Kingdom of God to Earth.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, how grateful we are that you gave us a spirit of love and not of fear.  Help us to overcome our life challenges not on our own strength, but through the power of the Holy Spirit.  It was you that said that the Holy Spirit would enable us to accomplish Your will in our lives.  Help us to lean in and trust You in ways unimaginable to us.  In Jesus name. Amen.

Grace and Peace,

Marc Kutylowksi

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