Think about that word for a minute. What does it mean to you? I’ve always loved the word joy. In fact, my older daughter’s middle name is Joy, and when she married and had her own daughter, she gave her the same middle name. Joy and happiness intermingle, don’t they, and some would even say the two words are synonymous. However, in the end, I think we’d all wind up agreeing that you can have one without the other. A person can reach the pinnacle of happiness, yet in his/her deepest core, have minimal joy. Likewise, one can experience the utmost level of joy, but lack true happiness. How is that even possible? Because…God. Yes, you heard right. God. Our Lord is the author of joy. Romans 15:13 says this: “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.”
More than happiness and joy being synonymous, I’d say it’s more likely that hope and joy go together. You can hardly have hope without joy, or vice versa.
While happiness is a true emotion, it withers, it dries up, and it’s short-lived. Joy, on the other hand, is more than an emotion. It is a state of being. Joy stays, it weathers the storm, it sees a hopeful future, it lingers in a hurting heart and in the midst of grief and sadness. Happiness is fickle, but joy is true-blue. Where Jesus is, there’s joy; where hope is, there’s joy. Yes, we sometimes need reminders because we’re human. We all fall down, but we get back up. We all have times of failure, but we learn to right the wrongs; we all have periods of doubt, but if we look to God for clarity, He gives it; and we all grow discouraged—until we rest our eyes on God and His Holy Word.
Don’t let your enemy Satan convince you you can’t have joy in the midst of heartache. He’s a liar. Don’t trust him. In fact, don’t believe a word he says. Instead, look to Jesus and find J O Y.
Remember this, friends: “…weeping may last for a night, but a shout of joy comes in the morning.” Psalm 30:5