What is joy? Is it the same as happiness? To an extent but not really. Joy is oft-times a misunderstood concept. We get the picture of someone “jumping for joy,”dancing for joy,” “or having tears of joy.” But joy is something different.
Joy is not the same as happiness because happiness depends on circumstances. In fact, the word itself comes from the same root word as happening. It means that something (good) has happened (to you). For example, if you were to buy a new dress, you would be happy about the new dress; If you were to have your palate satisfied at a nice restaurant, you would be happy about the dining experience, and so on. There is nothing wrong with being happy; We encourage each other to get as much happiness as you can ( don t worry, be happy); but we should realize that happiness is always based upon circumstances, or happenings in life.
Happiness is not the same as joy. Because circumstances allow happiness, they can also make happiness dissolve into thin air. Joy however, defies circumstances. It can coexist with doubt, uncertainty and pain. It is a contentedness beyond circumstances, and an indestructible kind of confidence. Joy is related to happiness, albeit rather loosely.
The apostle Paul understood that joy does not depend upon circumstances, possessions, or people. It is an attitude that’s determined by confidence in God. An attitude that says, in spite of my present state of affairs, I have confidence in God the Father, Jesus the Christ, and the Holy Spirit that I will prevail.
In Philippians 4:4,6, Paul says,” Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice…Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.”
Paul’s exhortation to the Philippians to rejoice in everything is a call to walk in faith, unwavering. For if the Christian sister believes that her life and all its circumstances are in the hands of a sovereign, wise, and loving God who is always working to do good for her, then she can indeed “rejoice always.”