Joyfulness vs. Happiness

Scripture (NIV):

John 15:11 “I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.”
3 John 1:4 “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.”
Romans 12:12 “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.”


Joyfulness and happiness; are they the same thing? Some people think so. Spiritually, they are two totally different things. Joyfulness comes from Christ and being filled with the Spirit. Galatians 5:22-23 says, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” Happiness isn’t even mentioned in that verse. I’m not saying that happiness is a bad thing. There isn’t anything wrong with being happy. The important part to ponder is “What am I striving for?” or “Which do I think is more important?”

In the Will Smith movie, “The Pursuit of Happyness”, he goes on an extensive journey just to find happiness. He’s literally pursuing it. How many times did he come up empty? Quite a few, actually. His outlook was, “Once I have this (whatever it was), then I’ll be happy.” Happiness is situational. As his situation and circumstances changed, so did his happiness. Joyfulness, on the other hand, does not change as quickly as happiness does. I believe that the more you allow yourself to be filled with the Holy Spirit, the more joyful you’ll become. After this change has taken place, your outlook on life will begin to change as well.

James 1:2 says, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds.” Who thinks like that? I can honestly say that I don’t and I wish I did. I wish that I joyfully dealt with my circumstances. So often, we respond in anger or frustration. I would encourage you to find ways where you can be joyful. Change your perspective and thank Jesus, your Heavenly Father, for giving you the ability to face these difficult circumstances with Him. We have been blessed to be filled by the Holy Spirit. Know that you aren’t alone and can joyfully face your trials and hardships with Jesus alongside of you.

Devotional Author: Nicole Presley

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