today is the birthday of my favorite son-in-law ( i only have one daughter) and i greeted him this way: “wishing you a year of love, joy, prosperity, health, peace, & success!” — everyone’s ingredients to a good and happy life, i also wish my son-in-law to have.
but today’s reading speaks of joy vs. happiness. the joy of Jesus which He desires for us.
we can have joy without being happy because joy is an attitude, a gift from the Holy Spirit that rests not on circumstances or events but on a strong faith in God. happiness, on the other hand, relies more on the happenings in one’s life.
even if our heart is breaking … even if plans go haywire and hopes are lost… even if we are going through trials for the world to see, we can still have joy. joy in knowing that Someone who loves us and has our best interests at heart holds our future… joy in believing that the life we have now isn’t all there is… joy in knowing that in our weakness, God is strong… and joy in our faith that God is always there for us.
the joy of Christ can be our same joy when we desire and prefer to live in His righteousness despite the events in our life, (meaning whether we are happy or not) so that His will comes to fulfillment in our lives.
we all want to be happy, who doesn’t? but i would rather have joy that lasts.
“my Lord, Your joy is peace amidst life’s storms. and, that is enough for me. i love You, Jesus. bless my family here and abroad with the gift of Your Spirit so that the fruits of eternal joy, faith, and peace be always ours. amen.”