What is joy? Is it happiness or something more? Does being happy mean I am joyful? I believe that joy is totally different from happiness. Joy is much deeper and meaningful. It is God given. I think happiness is an emotion that those who don't know Christ strive to find. We aren't always going to be happy. I don't think that is what God intended. I do believe He wants us to feel joyful. He has given us proof of that is His Word. In the New International Version of the Bible the word joy can be found 217 times!
The Merriam Webster Online Dictionary defines JOY in this way- to experience great pleasure of delight; to rejoice
"Bring joy to your servant, for to you, O LORD, I lift up my soul." Psalm 86:4
Our LORD wants us to rejoice and be glad. Only when we lift our souls up to Him can we feel the joy He wants to fill our hearts and lives with.
"Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth, burst into jubilant song with music." Psalm 98:4
When I read this verse it reminds me of the beauty of nature. Even the very earth, which God created, sings to Him. The flowers shout for joy with their brilliant scents, colors and intricate petals. The birds praise Him with their beautiful, individual songs. The sky and clouds give Him glory through their rich color and beauty . The freshness of a breeze reminds us of his gentleness. And the sun warms us like God's everlasting love.
"Light is shed upon the righteous and joy on the upright in heart." Psalm 97:11
This verse really speaks to me. If I have an upright heart I will feel joy. Living for the Lord, glorifying Him with my life, serving Him, loving Him, all of these acts will fill me with great pleasure and delight.
In a word- JOY!
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