Happiness is the feeling I get when I hear my children laughing as I tickle them, or when I find a new book by my favorite author, or discover a new British miniseries on Netflix to binge. It was the flutter in my stomach the first time Tim held my hand. It’s watching the leaves change from green to gold and orange. It’s a Sunday afternoon nap. It’s reminiscing stories from my childhood, it’s eating cake at a birthday party, and it’s having a kitty fall asleep on my lap.
And while there are a great number of things that happiness is, one of the things it is not, is Joy.
Joy is not a feeling. Joy is a choice.
Joy is living in the confident assurance of Jesus Christ and his provision in your life.
Joy is going to a funeral and seeing hope in the midst of grief. It is watching your sick child and trusting God with the ‘what ifs.’ Joy is standing with your life in tatters and believing God can and will redeem the broken pieces. It is being unshaken by the future because the future has already been conquered. It is living uncondemned by your past because your past has been reconciled. It is walking through the pain and realizing you didn’t walk it alone. It is knowing the hairs on your head are numbered and your days have been counted. It’s trusting the cross is more powerful than the grave and that death already lost.
That, my friends, is joy.
Not a feeling.
Not a fleeting moment.