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True Happiness and Joy

“These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full." John 15:11 (NKJV)

When I ask people what they are seeking in their relationships, they often respond, “I just want to be happy.”  It is a reasonable desire for sure, and let’s face it, most of us have been raised to value happiness.  I will usually say it is better to find joy in the Lord rather than happiness in anything in this earth.  It is at this point some will question, happiness or joy, what is the difference?  I will always tell them, our happiness is usually based on the temporal, where our joy is based on the eternal.

Happiness is the emotional feeling of pleasure we experience by something external such as our environment, a certain situation, or set of circumstances.  In essence, it is the affect of our experiencing the things we like – things making us content.  Happiness is largely based upon our circumstances and physical surroundings.

Joy is defined as “great happiness,” or something that brings happiness.  So based on this definition, joy has a “greater” value than happiness and is actually a path to true happiness.

I believe it is the Lord's will for us to be filled with His joy rather than our own happiness.  He knows our happiness is going to be based on our circumstances, and as a result our emotions will fluctuate depending on what we are experiencing.  This can make for a roller coaster of emotions and an inconsistency in our attitude or countenance.

As a Christian our joy should always be based on who we are in the Lord – this includes our position in Him currently and our future with Him eternally.  When we think upon this, we will be joyful even during those times of trials and tribulation.   We see this truth clearly stated in Psalms 16:11.

You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore. Psalms 16:11 (NKJV)

When we find our joy in the presence of the Lord we will have a greater spiritual life—one blessed as we read His Word and we spend time in prayer.  Our hope will not be diminished by what we see in this world, but strengthened by what we know we have in Christ and in what is waiting for us in eternity.

We can find ourselves looking for happiness in the temporal things we have or are experiencing, or we can find a true joy in the Lord and the work He has allowed us to be a part of.   I want to encourage you today to spend some time with Jesus—to hear His voice as you read His Word and worship Him.  We will be filled with His joy as we do this.

STUDY QUESTION: According to the Scriptures contained in this devotional, where can we expect to find true joy?

PERSONAL INVENTORY: Are you looking to find your joy in the presence of Jesus, or are you trying to find happiness in the things of this world?

PRACTICAL APPLICATION: Take time each day to spend with Jesus — read His Word and talk with Him; choose to make Him your joy and you will find yourself being very content in every situation.

PRAYER: Father, thank You for allowing me to come into Your presence.  Thank You for giving me Your joy as I continue to keep my mind focused on You.  Lord I confess the happiness of this world is temporary.  Fill me with Your joy today Lord and empower me to serve with a proper heart.  In Jesus’ precious name, amen…

Be Blessed, Pastor Scott






Copyright ©2017 by Pastor Scott Wright.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000