Let’s Talk About Joy
Joy is what’s called a “problem word,” or a term that is easily taken out of context or mixed up with other unrelated terms. Joy is something that differentiates Christians from people of the world, so it is imperative that we fully understand the definition of joy so that we can embody it as we have been called by Jesus to do.
Truth #1: Joy and happiness are NOT the same thing (Psalm 30:5). Happiness is a feeling, while joy is a mindset. Happiness is conditional, situational, and fleeting, while Joy in the Lord is eternal. Happiness is focused on the world, while Joy is focused on God.
This distinction is vital. Our culture is centered around happiness and doing whatever it takes to maintain it. Well, someone has to say it: you can’t and won’t always be happy. Happiness might seem like the most ideal asset to obtain, but in the end, it will always leave a feeling of emptiness due to the constantly chase of something that cannot be kept. When it comes to happiness, there is something missing: the hope found in Jesus Christ.
Truth #2: Joy is NOT easy, but it’s simple (James 1:2). For some people, joy is almost like an instinct. Some are better at focusing on the positives and blessings in life, making them a naturally joyful spirit. Joy, at least for some, is difficult. It is easy to get knocked down, discouraged, fearful, etc. and these factors deter joy.
However, having and maintaining joy takes practice. After all, practice makes perfect, right? Consistency is key when it comes to practicing joy. As soon as you feel the enemy creeping in to steal your joy, have a plan of protection. Sound your internal alarm and get ready to steal your joy back.
Pray, sing, dance, laugh, speak Scripture – find a method that works for you. Ask God for help and express your desire to have joy (Romans 15:13). It will take time, but it will be worth it in the end.
Truth #3: Joy is contagious. It is extremely hard to be around a joyful person and not also have joy yourself. Surround yourself with joy! Joy is attractive. Lost people are searching for joy and they don’t even know it. When a lost or wandering person encounters joy, it leaves a last impression upon their hearts because it’s different from any other feature in the world.
Joy is valuable and worth sharing. Joy is a command and a fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22). If you have joy, share it with others as often as possible – we all need it!
If you need joy, call someone to whom joy comes easily – they will be happy to share! Jesus always had joy, even on the Cross. There is always joy to be had.
Did this blog pique your interest? Have more questions? Want to learn more? If so, follow the link to another blog that talks about having a positive perspective during the hardest year yet: http://www.christianglobaloutreach.org/2020-is-gods-year/
Madison Burnette is a Religion major at Carson-Newman University. She is a Nashville native and an aspiring writer. In her free time, she enjoys watching sports, singing, reading, and trying local coffee shops with her friends. She has a heart for sharing the hope of Jesus with others through her platform. Her favorite Scripture is Psalm 73: 25-26.