What is Joy?

“I’ve got joy down in my heart.. down in my heart..”

That’s a song called “Down In My Heart” that I used to sing when I was a little girl in Sunday school. But real talk… Do you have the joy of the Lord in your heart? Many followers of Christ struggle with questions like: What is true joy? How can I be joyful in hard times? Why don’t I feel joyful? What even is joy? If you have felt this way or had questions similar to it, I want you to know you aren’t alone! I have found myself struggling with this many times before, and I am here to tell you… you CAN be joyful in hard times and it WILL get easier.

This post is all about the definition of joy. Over the next month (August) I’ll dive into the meanings behind joy, and what that looks like in my life. At the end I will even answer any questions that you may have about it, but for now… let’s stick with getting a basis on the meaning of joy.

“Christian joy is a good feeling in the soul, produced by the Holy Spirit, as he caused us to see the beauty of Christ in the world and of the world” – John Piper

This quote by John Piper was from an article of his I read a few years ago. It breaks down the meaning of this sentence and how Paul describes joy in Philippians. He writes that joy is from the Holy Spirit because of the beauty of Christ that we see EVERYWHERE.

Many people get the words joy and happiness mixed up and confused. Joy and happiness are not the same thing, yet the definitions sound similar. One main difference between the two is one can last a lifetime and the other is fleeting the minute you receive it.

Happiness is a temporary feeling. It relies on something of the world. For example, if you get an “A” on a test that you thought you were going to fail, you’re going to be really really happy. 3 weeks from now, you aren’t still going to be as happy as you were the minute you found out, because the happiness runs out and has limits. Whereas joy on the other hand, is never ending if it is the joy of the Lord. Joy is found when you trust God. One thing that many years of surgeries, physical therapy, and changing my entire life plan has taught me is: God has a plan and it is designed for you, for the best. All you have to do is trust him. We can endure all things if we have God on our side, so why wouldn’t we let ourselves trust him in what he is doing in our life. Once you trust him, you’ll be at peace and be able to find joy.

So to recap…

  • Joy is a feeling from the Holy Spirit
  • We get joy when we trust God and are at peace with what he is doing in our lives
  • It is not the same as happiness, because happiness it temporary
  • God is on our side and we are on his… the winning team!

P.S. Here is the link to the John Piper article. I challenge you to read it and work on finding joy in the world around you!

How Do You Define Joy? Article

– KaGie 🙂

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