Day 23 “You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste (its strength, its quality), how can its saltiness be restored? It is not good for anything any longer but to be thrown out and trodden underfoot by men.” – Matthew 5:13 Additional reading: Galatians...
“I have told you these things so that My joy and delight may be in you, and that your joy may be made full and complete and overflowing.”
– John 15:11
Oftentimes when we read about joy in the Bible, we confuse it with happiness, even though they are not the same thing. Happiness is temporary and tends to be externally prompted. It is based on other people, things, places, thoughts and events. Happiness is external. It is dependent on outside situations, people, or events to align with our expectations so that the end result is our own happiness. Joy, on the other hand, is internal. Joy is not affected by changing emotions, circumstances, or externals forces. Our joy comes from the Lord. We feel joy when we are spiritually connected to God. There are plenty of things in this world we can do that might allow us to feel bliss or pleasure, but ultimately they leave us feeling empty.
Joy stays with us even when things around us don’t look so great. James 1:2-4 says, “Consider it nothing but joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you fall into various trials. Be assured that the testing of your faith [through experience] produces endurance [leading to spiritual maturity, and inner peace]. And let endurance have its perfect result and do a thorough work, so that you may be perfect and completely developed [in your faith], lacking in nothing.” Many people would say that you aren’t happy while you’re suffering. We are not called to be happy, but to have joy. The origin of the word oy comes from the Latin word gaudia which means inward joy, gladness, delight.
As we grow spiritually, we begin to come into greater contact with this inherent joy that is given to us from the Lord. As you go through your week ask yourself, “am I experiencing Joy from the Lord, or am experiencing happiness based on external experiences?”
Love and Nuggs,