What is joy?
Some people may confuse the definition of happiness and joyfulness.
According to Google, happiness defines as “the state of being happy” and being happy is “feeling or showing pleasure or contentment.”
The definition of joyfulness is a “state of being extremely happy.”
So, is the difference between happiness and joyfulness just comparison like how happy we are?
Yes, but it is more than that.
When I researched about happiness and joyfulness in Google, I found this interesting quote:
Joy and happiness are wonderful feelings to experience but are very different. Joy is more consistent and is cultivated internally. It comes when you make peace with who you are, why you are and how you are, whereas happiness tends to be externally triggered and is based on other people, things, places, thoughts and events. (Better You, Psychologies)
I agree with these statements.
When we are happy, it is likely to be something positive, and, when we are unhappy, something negative happened to us. For example, I am happy that I can travel to Waiheke Island now, but I am unhappy that I cannot visit my family and friends overseas.
Joy creates happiness, and it comes from a source. Therefore, it must be something positive within us. For instance, travelling to Waiheke Island creates joy within me because I go to the church there that I can minister to.
Happiness versus joyfulness
Since joy comes from within, God wants us to pursue Him so that we could find satisfaction in Him.
According to the Cambridge English dictionary, the word ‘satisfaction’ means “the condition of having a desire or need fulfilled.” All of us have a desire to be happy, right? Therefore, in other words, satisfaction means having contentment in happiness.
If God desires us to be content in happiness through pursuing Him, why does He allow bad things to happen like COVID-19 epidemic?
In the Scriptures, God never says that He desires us to be happy, unfortunately. However, through Psalmist, He did say, “May all who are godly rejoice in the Lord and praise his holy name!” (Psalm chapter 97, verse 12)
Since God is eternal, He wants to remove everything that is not of Him and desires us to find everlasting satisfaction in Him. In other words, God delights us to have eternal happiness in Him, instead of just being happy in the temporary world.
Although He does not want us to be miserable, God allows bad things like COVID to happen if they are tools to make us grow spiritually. He desires all of us to be dependable to Him.
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. (James chapter 1, verses 2-4)
My experiences of COVID-19 world
When COVID lockdowns came, it was tough for me.
As a people-person, I found joy in meeting with people face to face because of my contribution to them like encouragement.
When I could travel to Waiheke Island Baptist Church again, I was glad. In fact, I am so delighted to have my role as a testimony speaker there that I now find more joy in sharing testimonies rather than in my writing.
Therefore, I strongly think being a pastor who publishes sermons online is part of God’s plan for me. Since I have no knowledge to predict His plan because His thoughts and ways are way higher than mine, I shall see how God will work within me in the future (Isaiah chapter 55, verse 8-12).
Other than predicting God's plan for our lives and that New Zealand is out of the lockdown, what if God made the world to be still to let us have more intimate time with Him so that we could have everlasting joy and satisfaction in Him?
Kevin Park is studying at Carey Baptist College and finds that Christian-writing is his ultimate will of God and his ultimate method to build the kingdom of God. He started to become a Christian writer from 2013. Other than his writing life, Kevin desires to see that each finds everlasting satisfaction in God, the Almighty. You will be able to contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. He loves to encourage others spiritually.
Kevin Park’s previous articles may be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/kevin-park.html