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Joy verses Happiness - Author Ron Nelson

Updated: Jan 23, 2022

“Joy verses Happiness”


“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” Romans 15:13


I have often heard people talk about joy and happiness and how they are so different. I’ve asked myself time and time again, how I can feel such joy knowing that I am part of the body of Christ, but yet be so unhappy at certain times of the day, weeks or even months. I have often wondered, how I can be saved and born-again and still find myself in a state of despair (a cause of hopelessness). I’m sure that I am not alone when it comes to this question.

When I need to understand something, I always take it to the Lord, and over time, God always answers me, not always right away and in some cases it may take weeks, months or even years to get an answer, but I can be sure, because I am born-again and have given my life to Jesus Christ, I will get an answer. It may not always be the answer that I hope for, but I know I will get an answer. I bring this up because this is exactly what happened with this question that I have been asking God for quite some time now. First let me give you a verse from the scriptures that tells us that we will get answers to our questions. This is a promise from Jesus Christ, Matthew 7:7;“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. After waiting patiently to hear from God about this feeling of joy and happiness, God spoke to me today through a well-respected teacher of God whom I listen to weekly. His topic today was on joy and happiness. The light came on and understanding flowed through my heart, mind and soul as it usually does when God speak.

Just so you understand, the promise in the verse above applies to those that have given their life to Jesus Christ and not to unbelievers unless you are serious with your intentions. God knows your heart and if you are sincere in reaching out to Him. From my personal experience, it seems the closer that I get to Jesus Christ and the joy of salvation, the less happy I am in this world. We, as the Christian body need to understand that we were not made for this world, we are just passing through, so of course, we are not going to feel at home as long as we are temporary residents of this earth. We are in enemy territory and the enemy is all around us just ready to destroy us at a drop of a hat.

For those of you that have served in the military and have seen live action, you know what it is like to be dropped in enemy territory to fend for yourself. Did you find happiness while you were in the jungles fighting for your life? Where did your joy lie? It lied in the fact that one day you will be going home never to face this kind of battle again. Sadly, some did not get to experience the joy of going home. My heart goes out to all that have fought and died so that we may be free. My prayer is that somehow, all who have died in the line of duty are now with Jesus Christ, which is the true joy that we are all looking forward to. So, that my friend is the difference between joy and happiness. Happiness is determined by the circumstance that we face each and every day. Joy comes from knowing what lies ahead for those that have put their trust in Jesus Christ. So, to put it in simple terms, joy is found in a relationship with Jesus Christ, happiness in found in circumstances that we face each day. If they are not circumstances that we enjoy, then they will bring hardships and sorrow. It’s all based on the circumstances we face in this God forsaken world in which we live.

We read where the Apostle Paul was a perfect example of what I am saying. Look what Paul said in 2 Corinthians 7:4; “I am acting with great boldness toward you; I have great pride in you; I am filled with comfort. In all our affliction, I am overflowing with joy.” Do you think for a minute that Paul was happy with all that he had to endure? We read in 2 Corinthians 11:23b; I have worked much harder, been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again.” Through all that trials that Paul had to endure, he still felt joy in his heart because he knew that all that he had been put through was just temporary and one day he would be with Jesus Christ. We never hear Paul complain anywhere the scriptures and if anybody had the right to complain, it was the Apostle Paul.

I felt I needed to share this message with you because if you are like me, you have faced this question often. You may ask yourself, why am I so miserable since I came to the saving grace of Jesus Christ? The answer is simple, since you have become a born-again Christian, you now have a target on your back because our advisory, the Devil who is rooming about like a roaring lion is searching for whom he may devour. If you are born-again, you will be attacked and our only defense is Jesus Christ and when we fade away from His protection we are prime targets for Satan and his demonic angels. That is when we enter into extreme unhappiness. So, you see, we need to keep as close to Jesus as we can daily so that our main focus lies in our joy of salvation. Outside of that, there will be no peace or happiness in this world. Only the peace that passes all human understanding where we read in Philippians 4:7; “and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Only in Christ will we find joy and happiness. Joy first and happiness will follow. Fade away from the joy of salvation in Christ and we will fall quickly into circumstance that bring us sadness and sorrow. I’ll leave you with this message from Psalm 16:11; “You will make known to me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.” Give your life to Jesus today and find that joy that passes all human understand. “Written To the extreme glory of God, and Inspired by the Holy Spirit!” Amen!

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