I thought they were the same thing. Can't they be synonyms? Close enough, right? Whenever things were going well (aka going as I expected, wanted, and thought they should be going) I was happy, even joyful! Or so I thought I was.
Then things would change. (aka go sour, something would happen that I didn't want and just couldn't understand) Suddenly, I wasn't happy anymore, and I surely had no joy!
Then I would hear others speak of joy in their lives. Really? I'd look at them incredulously. I wanted to say, You've been through the muck and grime of life, some of the most devastating things would happen, and you're still claiming joy?! Instead, I was silent. Disbelief clouded my mind. I did not get it. At all.
Until one Sunday morning when the pastor took the pulpit by storm and rained down truth. Telling us about happiness and joy. He said something that has forever changed my understanding. He explained:
Happiness occurs because of circumstances.
Joy occurs despite circumstances.
This post is the third in a series of posts reflecting on the fruit of the Spirit.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness,
and self control. Against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23