Submitted by Damaris Ann on Mon, 11/23/2015 - 17:31

We take happiness for granted. It's like we think we deserve it. But we don't. Ultimately we deserve hell. Christ changed that by suffering the wrath of God in our place so that we can experience the joy of eternal life.
Happiness is temporal but joy is found in the eternal.
So we should be joyful...when? Only when we remember what lies ahead (in heaven)? Or how about when things are going our way? Rejoice in the Lord every-once-in-a-while? No. "Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, rejoice." (Phil. 4:4)
The little pains and frustrations that you experience here on earth are nothing compared to what was in store for you before Christ stepped in and took your punishment upon Himself. Even the things that you consider to be "big" (losing your job, bad health, death) are nothing in the face of eternal death versus eternal life.
Earthly circumstances do not and will not change the eternal joy of Christ's salvation.
Habakkuk 3:17-19 "Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation. The Lord God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds' feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places. To the chief singer on my stringed instruments."
Habakkuk's whole world was falling apart as he was experiencing all kinds of pain and inconvenience yet he rejoiced. His joy was found in the Lord.
You and I really have no excuses.
Glory in the Lord, trust in the Lord, rejoice in the Lord. Thank Him for the pain and the pleasure.
1 Chronicles 16:10 "Glory ye in His holy name: let the heart of them rejoice that seek the Lord."

Author's age when written

Short 'n sweet


Nice little reminder! One thing I would do would be to put the Bible verses you mention in quotes or something to distinguish between the verses and your writing. I love the passage from Habakkuk you brought up.

I've heard the whole "happiness is based on worldly things, joy is based on heavenly things" idea before, but I still like the word happy. Little things - like purring cats, dark chocolate, and pretty scarves, all make me 'happy,' but ultimately, whether the little, 'happy' things are in my life or not, the 'joy' always is (or, I should say, always ought to be). I like paying attention to the little ways God cares for me like that, and feel like 'happiness' describes it nicely, even if 'joy' is a better description of deeper pleasures like family or Bible time or an unshakable joy in Christ in every circumstance. But those are just my thoughts. Thanks so much for your short-n-sweet essay here! : ) And again, thanks for bringing Hab. 3:17-19 to mind . . .

Thank you Hannah! I didn't realize that was confusing...I'll fix it right away.
I like the word "happy" too. ESPECIALLY kittens ours and the other things you mentioned. :P in my life right now I'm struggling to see the happiness that I have... I needed to remind myself that joy is the most important. The deeper your joy, the easier it will be to see the happy things. :)
Those Habakuk verses are some of my favorite. Nathan Clark George wrote a song from them called "I Will Rejoice in the Lord" which God has used to get me through some tough days. You should look him up!
Thanks so much for your lovely comment. :) Comments a re a big cause of my happiness. :P

I don’t thrive off of chaos: chaos thrives off of me.

I just looked Nathan Clark George up - thank you for that! I really like what I've heard so far. And I totally know what you mean about struggling to see the happiness, about reminding yourself to hold on to true joy - we all go through times like that, Damari. But God is so faithful! I know, I've been there. ; ) He'll take you through and show you joy like never before, I assure you!
In the meantime, here's another comment for you. : )
God bless!

I have three of his albums and they are definitely treasures.
Thank you for your kind words. It can be tough but I think sometimes I make it harder than it really is. I don't look for the light at the end of the tunnel and so I get caught up contemplating the darkness around me.
Thanks again!

I don’t thrive off of chaos: chaos thrives off of me.

This essay is a wonderful reminder of how you can be joyful but not necessarily happy at all times Damari :) This is a lesson that I too have been learning a lot lately: to move into a deeper joy in God and truer trust in Him, and not focus so much on my surrounding circumstances. Many times (and even somewhat now), my circumstances have been bad and my future felt so bleak. I have learned though that the greatest and best lessons I have learned have come through those times. I can honestly say that all of the pain and suffering is worth it to me to see the changes made in my life. I am becoming the person I want to be through these character-changing trials and that gives me great joy! I encourage you dear, that "weeping may last for a night, but joy comes in the morning". We still may be in our "night", but that doesn't mean that the morning and the joy isn't coming! It's already on its way :) We just have to be patient a little longer and wait for it!

"Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity." 1 Timothy 4:12