Everybody wants to be happy, right? I mean, that’s what we’re all chasing, isn’t it? Our culture is obsessed with, “Finding the Thing that Makes You Happy.” Magazines are filled with self-helps articles like “10 Ways to Find Happiness,” and, “25 Ways to a Happier Life.” Even our Declaration of Independence written by Thomas Jefferson in 1776 stated a right to “the pursuit of happiness.”
But how long are people happy once they obtain the thing that makes them happy? Getting a new car or house may make them happy but then trouble hits at work or in a marriage and they aren’t happy anymore. People may want happiness, but what they really need is joy.
Joy vs. Happiness
Joy is a person’s “internal” state of being whereas happiness is an emotion affected by external factors such as a promotion, a new car, a relationship, a breakup or a death. Happiness comes and goes depending on circumstances. Joy remains even in the most challenging of times.
Why? Because joy comes from God. We know because Galatians 5:22 says, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” Joy is the result of God “working in you to will and to act in order to fulfill His good purpose” (Philippians 2:13).
But what is the source of our joy? Grace. God’s grace extended to us through Jesus Christ is the source of our joy.
Think about this, apart from God’s grace, we all stand in judgment before God having violated His law. He created us and established how we are supposed to walk in relationship with, and worship, Him. But on our own, we don’t and won’t without His intervention. The Bible says we are enemies of God, and we can’t do anything to fix the problem. But God, out of His love for us and while we are sinners, graciously sent Jesus to take the punishment we deserve. That’s grace; getting what we don’t deserve (forgiveness) rather than what we do deserve (eternal punishment).
Jesus dying in our place so that we can worship God changes everything. We are forgiven! We have new life! We are restored to have a personal relationship with our Creator! Our condemnation is gone forever!
That’s the Good News of the gospel. Like the Apostol Paul rhetorically asks, “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31). The unshakeable reality of Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection is the foundation for our bottomless, endless joy, regardless of our circumstances.
So today, are you chasing happiness or resting in joy? Your response will help clarify how you will view everything else in your life.
Mark W. Koch is an Author, inspirational and Hollywood Film Producer. To order a Free Copy of, “The First Hour” for Men 30-Day Journey, Visit www.thefirsthour.com and use promo code NCF