Choose Joy. (not happiness).
“Whatever happens, my dear brothers and sisters, rejoice in the Lord.” Phil 3:1
Joy is one of those concepts very easily misunderstood. It is an emotion? A feeling? Or, is it a gift? An attitude? A choice? People may feel happy, but do they truly have joy in the souls? I think, looking around our schools/communities, it’s very easy to spot happy people – people who seem to have it all together. But very often this emotion can fade only to reveal deep feelings of inadequacy, insecurity, and fear. On the other hand I’ve met people living in severe poverty who have a complete joy that is seemingly undeterred by their terrible circumstances. How is this possible?
True joy can only be found in the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). Joy is not a fleeting, circumstantial, emotion that is seen. It’s an eternal and holy fruit of the Holy Spirit which is not so much seen as it is experienced. As a follower of Christ, we are given His Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5:18) which means joy is yours for the taking. Don’t hide behind a wall of insecurity or inadequacy. Many people spend all their money, time, and lives on temporary ‘happiness highs’ that, yes, feel good but serve only to expose their true emptiness and hurt. Ask God for a joy that never fails. He has it in abundance and He will give it to you in abundance, because it’s in His nature to give you good things. “Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ.” (Phil 4:7)
Today. Choose Joy (not happiness).