OUR SOURCE OF JOY
Neh 8:10 Then he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the LORD is your strength.
It is vital that we understand the difference between happiness and joy. First happiness is a superficial emotion of gladness. Happiness lifts us up but joy holds us up when our world is falling.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
Thus, we see the distinct difference between joy & happiness. Many things can make us happy. New clothes, new car, raise on the job, & etc. However, these and a thousand other things & reasons that bring happiness to us, can also be taken from us and then happiness fails. It’s true that happiness lifts us up, but joy holds us up when our world crumbles around us.
17 Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls:
18 Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation.
19 The LORD God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds’ feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places. To the chief singer on my stringed instruments.
Notice that when everything collapsed the Prophet still had JOY. The joy of the Lord is our strength & a true source of our stability as Christians. Hardships can strip us of our happiness but can never take away our joy. Through the most painful times of our life we are kept with His joy and that joy is a virtue and gift from God himself. The world can’t take our joy from us, hell can’t take it, nor anyone else because they didn’t give it to us they can’t take it away.
I have found through the years of living for God and pastoring many people that joy is a virtue & not a superficial emotion. Although joy & happiness are often interpreted as synonymous terms, yet I have learned that there is a world of difference. Happiness inspires praise but joy brings worship. I choose JOY……
1 Pet 1:8 Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: