Happiness is finding front row parking at the grocery store on a rainy day. Joy is parking at the end of the lot on purpose and appreciating the gift of being able to walk.
Happiness is making more money than we need to pay our bills. Joy is giving sacrificially and trusting God to provide for our needs.
Happiness is when our spouse does exactly what we want. Joy is extending grace and love even when we’re in the right.
Happiness is when our kids are well-mannered, obedient, and thankful for everything we do for them. Joy is wrapping our arms around them in their brattiest moments, honoring the privilege of shaping the minds and hearts of our future generation.
Happiness is finding a dollar. Joy is giving it away.
Happiness is receiving well deserved recognition. Joy is continuing to do our best even when someone else takes the credit.
Happiness is my mom in perfect health. Joy is helping her recover from brain cancer.
Happiness is natural and human. Joy is supernatural and a gift from God.
Wanting happiness leads to comfort addiction, self-centered neediness, chronic disappointment, and a focus on controlling circumstances. It is fickle and fleeting.
Pursuing joy (God) leads to depth, maturity, service, and surrender to God even when we don’t know what He’s doing. It is stable and dependable.
For all these reasons, I don’t pray for happiness. I pray for joy.
May our hearts overflow with purpose, service, and abundance of everything good and permanent. And may we find joy even in the midst of our scary and uncertain circumstances because we know our lives are about so much more than ourselves.
“…And do not be grieved, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10