“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” – John 10:10
Based on personal experience and calculated observation I will attempt to explain the difference between happiness and joy in one paragraph.
Happiness is human – Joy is Godly.
The primary difference between happiness and joy is that joy is not something that can be internally constructed or cultivated.
To say it more simply, joy is not a product of positive thinking.
When one is joyful, they have made a decision in the spiritual realm to embrace the freedom and identity that God has bestowed. I have been happy without being joyful, but my happiness had to be spurred on by one or more of the following: sex, alcohol, accumulating stuff or even attending church.
I have also experienced joy, which is indescribable, in so far as it is not reactive.
Joy comes upon you when conclusions are drawn in the spirit to trust the creator fully and consistently pursue his best for you, while admitting that in and of ourselves we can produce good but only in communion with the Creator can we produce our best.
This is not self-depreciating, it is however a product of introspective awareness and honesty. Being “good” does not bring on joy, nor does being happy, or positive, or rich, or successful, or famous or a church goer. Many who attend church are seeking to fill the same voids as those who seek sex, substances, money, fashion, fame, stuff, accolades, etc.
Joy is a product of letting go.
It is a product of a colliding between faith and obedience.
It is a product of acknowledging the divinity and goodness of God as creator, Jesus as savior and Holy Spirit as mediator.
Would LOVE to hear your thoughts on this subject!
**photo taken by Scott Milam