Joy is often confused with happiness, but they are very different emotions. Happiness is a temporary, fleeting feeling, while joy is a lasting, eternal emotion. Happiness comes and goes, while joy is planted deep in your heart and is there even when you don’t feel happy.
Joy becomes a permanent part of your life when you accept Christ as your Savior. It stays there in every situation. Joy causes you to look up in your circumstances and focus on the good, the right, and the eternal. The biggest difference between happiness and joy is that we don’t have to do anything to receive joy. For happiness to last, we have to constantly find reasons to be happy or do things that make us happy all the time. Happiness is based on us. However, God is the source who gives us joy. It is something He does, not anything we can do. Joy is the light at the end of the tunnel. Happiness has to look for reasons, while joy IS the reason!
Joy lifts you up when you’re down. Joy encourages others. Joy brings hope in a dark world. So think of a time when you’ve been happy. Maybe it was today. What were the circumstances surrounding your happy feeling? Most likely, they were temporary. Now, if you are a Christian, you should be able to think of a time when you experienced the joy God gives. Was it when you were saved? Was it when God answered your prayers? If you don’t know God, pray and ask for his salvation that brings permanent joy. It is a beautiful emotion. If you are redeemed, pray and ask Him to reveal His joy to you every single day.