We have probably all heard the saying "happy & joyful are two different things". I've heard many sermons & teachings on this topic. The difference being that happiness is based on circumstances, and joy is something we choose to have as we trust in God. The Bible says "in His (God's) presence is fullness of joy...", which simply means, you can have joy in any circumstance, if you invite the presence of God in your life.
I wanted this blog to be filled with things that make people laugh and bring them joy. I know with everything going on in the world these days, both in our nation, as well as in our own individual lives, it is easy to get caught up in the negative. We're often so busy and serious, or so bogged down with the burdens of life, that we not only stop laughing & having fun, but we let the cares of this life steal our joy. To have true joy, we can be at peace & content even in the midst of great trials. I know this not just spiritually & intellectually, but I know this from experience.
The good news is when we turn our eyes back on Jesus, and focus on Him, we begin to feel the joy of His presence. Then we are on our way to experiencing freedom from the bondage & burdens that have weighed us down. What do people do when they have been held captive and all of a sudden they are free? They celebrate! They are filled with joy & laughter. Just look at the story in Psalm 126 - the Jewish people had been in captivity in Babylon for over 70 years. Now they are being set free and in Psalm 126:1-3 it says "When the Lord brought back the captivity of Zion, we were like those who dream. Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing. Then they said among the nations, The Lord has done great things for them. The Lord has done great things for us, and we are glad."
Let's all stop looking at our problems, being entangled in sin & heavy burdens. Let's lift our eyes up to Jesus, the Author & perfecter of our faith and let the joy of His presence be our strength. Then we'll be as those who are set free, and our mouths will be filled with laughter & we'll sing and celebrate, and remember the goodness of our God.
May you all be filled with joy AND happiness!
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