Joy is such a small word, yet, it is one that can be interpreted countless ways. Curious, I went to the experts for their input. Two definitions appeared in all my sources.
1. The emotion of great happiness.
2. Something or someone that provides a source of happiness.
Emotion of great happiness tells me nothing, so scrolled to the next definition. That provides a source of happiness switched on my brain light. I did a word search in my Bible. One verse seized my attention. Romans 15:13. 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.
This shows me that joy isn’t a degree of happiness, it is the source of happiness. Whereas happiness can be shallow, and only lasts for a season or just a few seconds, joy goes beyond emotion.
I liken happiness to eye candy. It is the emotion I first feel when I’m standing on the shore watching a flock of geese float from the sky and land on a shimmering lake. Being a witness to the moment evokes happiness. When I look deeper, I’m reminded of how God has equipped these majestic creatures with wings that carry them through the air and enables them to effortlessly land on the water. This fills me with joy, knowing that our omnipotent God has wonderfully provided for all living creatures.
Almost every morning I sit at my desk staring at a blank screen waiting for my thoughts to come out of a coma. When words finally flow from my mind into a beautiful paragraph, happiness gushes through me. The next paragraph takes hours to master, and the happiness ebbs. But knowing I’ve written something that will uplift my readers, my joy remains as a shield around my heart, not allowing anything to disrupt the peace within.
Joy is peace in a blizzard. A knowing that regardless of how difficult a situation is, it will pass, perhaps not in the way I think it should, but it will pass. It is a knowing that my God walks beside me preventing me from slipping. It is hope when no hope is in sight. Joy sustains all positive emotions and silences all others that try to mess with my confidence.