There is a tendency to confuse happiness with joy. We often think they are synonymous. Happiness is more a reaction to pleasure, like eating an ice cream cone or reading a good book. It is an emotional reaction in which we experience a state of well-being that can disappear very easily in times of hardship or need.
Joy, in contrast, is defined as an intense and especially ecstatic or exultant feeling. Enjoying is not the same as rejoicing. Joy has a deeper meaning especially when we look at our faith because joy is the fruit of the Holy Spirit…a byproduct of living in God.
As we experience the ups and downs of our daily lives we need to “practice” where and how to experience joy. Here are some suggestions on where to experience joy.
- Joy because Jesus came, lived, died, and rose again so we might live forever.
- Joy because of family- a happy family is but an earlier heaven.
- Joy in using your God given skills –a job well done.
- Joy in laughter –a good deep belly laugh!
- Joy in loving others – the surest mark of a Christian is joy!
- Joy in God’s creation –a beautiful sunset, a starry sky! Wow!
So your homework is to look for as many joyous experiences that you can. God has given us endless sources of joy in our lives. Won’t you start to “count your joys” right now?