Everybody wants to be happy…

Question- why is happiness the ideal?

Don’t get me wrong, I am all about positive emotional well being, but why is it that when someone is asked:

What do you want?

more often than not the response is “I want to be happy!”

Am I misinterpreting something?  Is there not more to life than feeling happy?

Is being happy all of the time reality?  Of course not, but what about joy?

For me the biggest difference between happiness and joy is that happiness is based on the external circumstances that are always changing, while joy is internal and is not based on the ever changing tides of life, but based upon something that is concrete:

Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10

What is the joy of the Lord?

Charles Haddon Spurgeon spoke,

Another form of “the joy of the Lord” will visit us practically every day in the honour of being allowed to serve him. It is a joy worth worlds to be allowed to do good.

The apostle James wrote,

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds.  James 1:2

Joy is not the same as happiness, joy is more than what happiness tries to attain, joy does not leave me feeling empty.

So what do I want- I want JOY!



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