I've got the joy
Updated: Jul 29
You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand. // Psalm 16:11
Joy and happiness are not the same thing!
Happiness is a temporary feeling, something that's based on what happens to you.
For example, here are some of the things that make me happy.
- Shopping at Target
- Being with friends and family
(You get the point)
As great as those things are, they only bring good feelings in the moment; they will not sustain me in the long run. For instance, I can indulge in all the coffee I want, but the second that I finish consuming it, what's next? Also, shopping is fun until you deplete all of your money, am I right?
Happiness is great! It lingers however it is not everlasting, whereas, joy is quite different. I would say that joy acts as an anchor and is more constant through the seasons. I like the way that biblestudytools.com puts it, “There is a big difference between joy and happiness. Happiness is a reaction to something great. Joy is the product of someone great.”
Let us never forget the difference, nor fail to enjoy both happiness and joy, fully on this earth. Sure, God wants us to be happy, but happiness comes and goes, and sometimes the things that make us happy aren't good for us. Also, have you noticed that what used to make you happy; may not even make you smile anymore? As a child, playing with dolls used to make me super happy. But now as an adult, it fails to do that. Not because the activity is inadequate but because I’ve grown up. God is concerned about our happiness but it’s not His first priority, holiness is. God knows how flaky happiness is and He wants us to experience a sensation that is far more superior. He knows that the pursuit of happiness can leave us feeling empty. However, a pursuit for Him will not only make us holy but bring us true long-lasting joy as well. God wants us to reside in blissful permanence not coast through with temporary satisfaction.
Happiness will not get us through tough seasons, because chances are that it's not even present in times of trial. Also, people in the world experience happiness as well, however, they don't have joy. It is Joy that has us laughing amid storms and not being anxious when it seems like the world is falling apart. Joy comes from the Lord, and we must cultivate it in spite of what our circumstances may be.
Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Rise and go toward the south[d] to the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” This is a desert place. And he rose and went. And there was an Ethiopian, a eunuch, a court official of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, who was in charge of all her treasure. He had come to Jerusalem to worship and was returning, seated in his chariot, and he was reading the prophet Isaiah. And the Spirit said to Philip, “Go over and join this chariot.” So Philip ran to him and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet and asked, “Do you understand what you are reading?” And he said, “How can I, unless someone guides me?” And he invited Philip to come up and sit with him. Now the passage of the Scripture that he was reading was this: “Like a sheep he was led to the slaughter and like a lamb before its shearer is silent, so he opens not his mouth. In his humiliation justice was denied him. Who can describe his generation? For his life is taken away from the earth.” And the eunuch said to Philip, “About whom, I ask you, does the prophet say this, about himself or about someone else?” Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning with this Scripture he told him the good news about Jesus. And as they were going along the road they came to some water, and the eunuch said, “See, here is water! What prevents me from being baptized?”[e] And he commanded the chariot to stop, and they both went down into the water, Philip and the eunuch, and he baptized him. And when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord carried Philip away, and the eunuch saw him no more, and went on his way rejoicing. But Philip found himself at Azotus, and as he passed through he preached the gospel to all the towns until he came to Caesarea.
// Acts 8:27- 40
Encountering Joy through salvation
In Acts chapter 8 we see Phillip being led by God to minister to an Ethiopian eunuch. Phillip approaches the man and asks him if he understands the scripture that he is reading, the man replies “no”. So Phillip takes his time to teach him the scriptures; then the man decides that he wants to get baptized and commit his life to Jesus. Phillip leads him to Jesus and gets snatched up in the Spir