Let’s Compare: Joy vs. Happiness

Happy Thursday!

So I have to be honest with you. I haven’t been feeling all that inspired the last couple days, which doesn’t bode well when you have a blog. Usually I have no problem coming up with topics, and most of the time, it just “flows” when I start typing. I think it may be the combination of still trying to get over this virus mixed with an insane readiness to be home for a little break.

I needed a little assistance this morning, so I texted Jordan for a fresh idea which I knew he would have for me. His response, “Joy, unspeakable, that only comes with Christ.” After making sure I hadn’t already written about this, I thanked him and the wheels began spinning.

Please watch this video. I promise it will instantly put you in a great mood & also serve up a slice of nostalgia for you this afternoon. This is by far one of my all-time favorite movies.

Besides the beautiful voices & stellar outfits from the 90’s, this video is a great introduction for today’s post about joy.

Too often, joy and happiness are intermixed in people’s language. They really are two completely different concepts. Let me explain. To me, I see happiness as a feeling which results from a circumstance. This may be a significant other or a hobby that just, “makes me so happy.” So what happens when that boyfriend or girlfriend is out of the picture? Or that hobby that you love so much is unavailable in the city your job relocates you to?

Insert feelings of sadness & disappointment. The reason for this roller coaster of emotions has to do with triggers coming from external factors, rather than from within oneself. Not only does happiness come from external factors, but bodily expressions are much more obvious and outward when we are happy. {smiling, laughing, or inflection in the voice} I don’t know about you, but I would much rather experience a consistent emotion, not based upon life’s circumstances, because we all know how unpredictable those can be.

The solution: joy. Joy is this amazing gift that we are given once we receive Christ as our Lord and savior. When we decide to completely give our life over to our unconditional & eternal Father, we gain this continual feeling of joy all the days of our life. Joy is something I treasure immensely, for without it, I’d be a hot mess.

Growing up, my parents used to always tell people that I never had a bad day. I personally think they were just focused on my 3 older siblings, and I was so stimulated with everything else going on, that it just seemed like I was super laid back. Either way, I have taken their words to heart and I really strive to be consistent in my moods.

Having unending & abundant joy which I cherish so dearly in my heart lays the foundation for an upbeat and optimistic view of life. Once that has been established, I obviously have to make a conscious effort to maintain joyfulness despite difficult situations. Here is what it looks like from my perspective, in the way I go about my days.

  • I pretty much always wake up looking forward to my day. This excitement for the day  gets even better once I have my coffee. 🙂
  • Starting my day in the Word, even if it is just a 2-minute devotional, gets my mind right and really challenges me to act in the spirit rather than my flesh.
  • If an unexpected conversation or a tough situation presents itself during my day, my automatic reaction is never to freak out or stress. I just take it in, process it, give it up to Him, and then work to fix the problem. I think once I realized that I can’t be in control of everything, it really took a lot of pressure off of myself.
  • I seek wisdom and advice from people who I know will encourage and affirm me.
  • My personality type is one that doesn’t like to “rock the boat.” I try to be very steady in my personality and consistent in the way I react to things. That way,  the people close to me and those that I work with, will always know what to expect from me.
  • Pray, pray, and then pray some more. There is such peace in prayer and hey, you can do it anywhere, as much as you would like.
  • I like to smile, I  like to talk to people and get to know their hearts, and I love learning.

Oh, and reading the Bible is always a great place to go to when you are feeling a little “blah” and emotionally unstable. I am going to leave you with a few verses…

Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. ~Romans 12: 12

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds. ~James 1:2

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. ~Romans 15:13

One specific individual in my life who I want to call attention to today, is my Aunt Susie who is celebrating her birthday. I have so many wonderful memories with her and I truly am blessed to have her as my aunt. She is energetic, engaging, creative, wise, loving, and so much fun to be around. I cherish the times I get to see her {Lord willing this Christmas} and I love her dearly! Happy Birthday Susie!

22 years later, she is still looking beautiful.
22 years later, she is still looking beautiful.

Thank you all for letting me share some thoughts about joy today. Have a wonderful evening and weekend. 1 week from today I will be HOME!! Can’t wait.

Let your light & joy shine!

-Abby Dawn

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2 thoughts on “Let’s Compare: Joy vs. Happiness

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