“When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy. When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight” (Khalil Gibran).
“…the secret to joy is to keep seeking God where we doubt He is” (Ann Voskamp).
The difference between happiness and joy is this: happiness requires the right circumstances while joy can be found anywhere at any time.
The Apostle Paul could indeed count it all joy even when he was imprisoned or beaten or shipwrecked. He could sing hymns of joy when locked in a dungeon with little hope of his circumstances improving any time soon.
You can’t depend on happiness because you never know from one moment to the next what will happen. You can’t say for sure that everything will turn out the way you want to produce the happiness you desire.
But joy is knowing that the future belongs to Jesus. For Jesus, the future is now. For you, that means that you can count on that future coming to pass as surely as you can count on Jesus.
But joy is still a choice you and I must make every single day. Sometimes, you won’t feel like choosing joy because it seems unnatural in the face of what you’re going through. I know many times I’d rather choose anything but joy because feeling sorry for myself makes me feel good. For a little while.
So when people disappoint you– and they will– choose joy.
When you lose your job, choose joy.
When the rain clouds cover the sky and you can’t find the sun, choose joy.
Trust me. It’s always worth it.