There is a big difference between Joy and Happiness, and too often we confuse them. Happiness is a temporal state of the mind; joy is a permanent condition of the heart. Happiness is the result of our emotions being satisfied; joy is the everlasting imprint on our heart that gives us strength. We may go to bed overwhelmed at times but the joy never leaves us, and as our mind relaxes we are renewed in Christ, and our joy comes again in the morning.
Our mind is the part of us that we depend on every day to stay alive; it’s the computer that runs our body, stimulates our thoughts and controls our emotions. But unfortunately, it can also be the devil’s workshop because our thought process is the one venue that Satan can use to influence and persuade us to do his will. We are surrounded by evil and can be deceived if we don’t have God’s truth in us. This is why it’s crucial that we keep our mind filled with the things of God.
We read in 2 Timothy 2:15 that we are to “Study to show ourselves approved unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” When we fill our mind with the truth of the Bible, there is no room for evil to take up residence. Wrong thoughts will come at us, but when our mind is focused on God, we will recognize them and cast them to the wayside.
- Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.—2 Corinthians 10:5
Our heart is the part of us that wilfully links to either good or bad and uses the mind to fulfill its desires. Someone who doesn’t know Jesus is still subject to the god of this world, and the heart responds first to its own desires (which are inspired by the devil) and uses the knowledge of the mind to fulfill them. A believer is no longer under the devil’s rule because Jesus is our Lord and Savior, and our heart wants to obey Him, and we use our mind to fulfill the desires of our heart.
If someone is saved and doesn’t bother to study the Scriptures to know God, then the heart has very little support to go on. It may want the things of God but the mind is empty of that knowledge and so the person has no way of fulfilling God’s will from the heart—they literally starve. But if the person studies the Bible and gets God’s truth deep into their mind, then their heart works with their mind and they become a productive Christian and faithful servant of God. As believers, we must continuously fill our minds with the things of God and never leave a door open where the devil can slip in and deceive us.
- This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.—Joshua 1:8
Happiness is related to our emotions, and as Christians we have a lot to be happy about. Jesus has saved us from the punishment of sin, and He continues to help us and bless us, and these also make us happy. But happiness comes when our emotions are satisfied. Joy, on the other hand, has nothing to do with emotions.
Joy is the peace in our heart that says, “Jesus loves me and He will take care of me no matter what.” It’s the reassurance deep in our soul that tells us that no matter what happens to us in this world, no matter if we even fail Jesus and must repent for something we did, our standing in God’s eyes will never change. We are still His child and His love for us will never be any less. The promises that He gave us will never be undone. We will always be with Him throughout eternity and nothing will separate us.
- For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.—Romans 8:38-39
Joy is the confidence that we have in Christ. He is our Lord and our Savior and our King. Regardless of what happens around us, no matter what evil befalls us, Jesus is still our Lord, Savior and King and nothing will change that. Joy is a permanent assurance in our heart that allows us to live each day and not be afraid of, or intimidated by, the things around us.
When our heart and our mind are filled with God’s knowledge, and when He gives us the wisdom to use that knowledge to His glory, then we are able to overcome the things that this world will throw at us. There may be times when we don’t know what to do because we’ve never been prepared for a particular situation, but that shouldn’t upset us. We are God’s child and we can simply go to Him in prayer and ask for help in Jesus’ name. God will always hear us and answer. He will never leave us alone to work it out when we surrender the situation to Him.
- For he (Jesus) said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”—Hebrews 13:5
When we have this joy in our heart, we can live in confidence knowing that God our Father loves us and that Jesus died for us so we could be saved. There may be times when we think very little of ourselves, but God’s love for us is never made small. We are HIS children, special, unique and worth dying for. This is the joy that keeps us going and that makes us strong, and no one can take it from us.
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Thanks for stopping by. Have a great day! … ronnie