Happiness is rooted outside of a person. It sits just on the surface of a life and therefore, is in the flesh. Joy comes from the inner core of a person. And when happiness eludes, the power of joy is so strong that it is capable of pushing through the empty shell that once was happy, to shimmer its presence.
Joy leads to empowerment and victory. Happiness cannot lead anywhere as it only knows how to follow what is happening to it; it is a victim mentality. Joy doesn’t care what is going on around it, anything can be happening and it doesn’t waiver. It’s an attitude of response that you choose and it becomes the temperature of your life, versus an emotionally triggered happiness that is determined by an event. Choosing joy will make you wise and powerful.
Happiness is determined by its environment only. This makes happiness a victim of the circumstances of a life. As you choose joy, you mature to become the master of your sphere and everything that happens in it.
Happiness is most conspicuous in the way that it insists on being pleased. In order for it to thrive it is necessary that it is agreed with. Happiness makes heavy demands on the lives around it and seldom sees how others are affected. In short, no crisis can arise in happiness. Joy does not make such stipulations on a life; it gives itself regardless of what might develop. It doesn’t matter what circumstance joy is presented with. It doesn’t matter who says what to it, or if it gets its own way, it does not weaken. Joy is steady, peaceful and easy to be around. Happiness can be all these things too as long as you don’t cross it or disagree with it. Remember, happiness has to be pleased because it is an emotion and lives in events, its circumstances must always be favourable.
Therefore, there is no real freedom in happiness, just captivity. Lots of times we just cannot control the people around us, how they treat us or the decisions they make. In most scenarios we don’t have control over the events or circumstances, and this is where joy reigns supreme … these things have no effect on it.
Finally, happiness wants us to focus on our present circumstances because it cannot see anything else. Remember happiness only follows and responds to present events – what is happening right now. If happiness can succeed at getting the focus on the present, it will limit and bind for today. But as joy is not determined by present events, it seeks to give you the key that will propel you through those very events that could imprison you. Joy looks beyond the circumstances and seeks to lead us into the future … to something better. It seeks to give us hope.
Happiness does not bring joy, it is joy that bestows happiness.
Consider it wholly joyful, my brethren
whenever you are enveloped in or encounter
trials of any sort
or fall into various temptations.