Joy v Happiness
In Limiting God
Jan. 29, 2016 at 3:26 p.m.
Joy v. Happiness, Thanks v. Adoration
The two pairings above would seem to be entirely separate. To me joy and adoration go together, while happiness and thanks pair well.
Happiness comes from outside circumstances. We are so happy when we get the job we want, or we’ve received badly needed money, or any other things in our life that bring a smile or a little dance of joy. Our thanksgiving to God comes when He has answered our prayers.
Being thankful can also beget unthankfulness. For example, at one time I wanted a piece of land to grow vegetables. Actually, I wanted more than just a lot-size space. I wanted space where I could grow enough produce to sell to eke out our meager income. Well, I got what I asked for. But I also grumbled a lot at the very hard work I had to put in to make the land productive. I was thankful for the land, but not the work. And when I was so tired and aching, I was also crabby about many other things that had no connection to the land or growing vegetables. Maybe I shouted at my son when he accidentally knocked over his glass of milk.
Joy is an inner condition. It’s choosing to thank—adore—God even when He doesn’t answer our prayer, or at least not answer with exactly what we prayed for. It’s choosing to believe God knows best, that only He can see down the road to know what will happen if our exact prayer is answered. It’s knowing that our joy comes from God and that no thing, no person, no circumstance can take it away.
It’s this inner joy that gives rise to praise and adoration of God just because He exists. He’s not obligated to meet all my needs (although He says He will), or fulfill all my desires (He says He’ll do that, too). I can just adore Him for Who He is, and that’s enough.