Do You Want Happiness or Joy?

Happiness or Joy?

Which would you rather have?

No happiness or joy

I guess it would be a fair statement to say that there is not much happiness or joy in the world today. It has almost reached the point where I feel like giving up watching the television news. I gave up watching current events programmes ages ago; they just make me angry and I don’t like that.

In your face

It didn’t seem so bad when I was growing up. That was a different world then. The news was not ‘in your face’ 24/7 like it is today on television, on our radios, in our newspapers and on our computers via social media networks and on our phones. It is increasingly hard to escape from all the evil in the world. It is hard to have true happiness or joy in such an evil climate.

Evil is rampant

The evil rampant in the world is not a new phenomenon. In recent weeks I have been reading through the first few books of the Old Testament. It was a shocking world in those days, too. Several years ago I read an account of the Gallipoli campaign, as well as a personal account of experiences on the Western Front in WWI. Later I read a novel based on the experiences of the POWs on the Death Railway in Thailand. They were very unhappy, joyless times too.

We can have happiness

Despite the doom and gloom in the world today, despite the feelings of oppression all around, despite the expressions of anger and despair, we all can experience periods of happiness each day. I have great periods of happiness and laughter when I spend time chatting with my grandchildren, for example. Just go out into your gardens and see God’s hand of creation and that should bring you happiness, too.

A distinction

Let’s draw a distinction between joy and happiness. Happiness is often a fleeting emotion, something experienced in the moment. Happiness can often last for only a moment – and like a mist in the night, it can be whisked away by the storms of life.

Deep joy

Joy, on the other hand, is long-lasting, deep, satisfying and cannot easily be shaken from us. Joy is that condition we find ourselves in when we know, deep down, without any feelings of doubt, that we are content and secure in Christ.

Paul often encourages us to Rejoice, and again I say, rejoice.” 

Nehemiah states that “The joy of the Lord is your strength.”

When we take deep, satisfying joy in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, we are strengthened, we are encouraged, and we are renewed. Even in our darkest moments, when the storms of life assail us on all sides, we take comfort in our salvation through what Jesus Christ has done for us on the Cross of Calvary.

Without Him

Without Him, our lives would be nothing.

Without Him, we would be lost.

Without Him, we would be without hope.

This is why we remember Him, and we remember Him on a weekly basis when we celebrate the Lord’s Supper (Communion).

Jesus said, Do this in remembrance of Me.”

Without remembering Him weekly, our lives will be lived weakly.


Australian King Parrot

Australian King Parrot (Photo: Trevor Hampel)