What does the word “joy” mean?
According to the dictionary, “joy” means “the emotion of great delight or happiness caused by something exceptionally good or satisfying.” But I truly believe joy is so much more than a dictionary could ever state.
Someone once told me that happiness is temporary, and joy is everlasting. This has forever stuck with me. Joy is so much more than a form of happiness; rather, joy is the reason that we can find happiness.
“Be joyful always.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16
Joy is my favorite word. Just think about it! Joy is incredible. I have learned more about joy, and found more joy in my life in the last few months than ever before. If any of you know my life right now, you know it’s full of meetings and 18 credits of classes and work and running and more meetings and homework and a mental breakdown here and there. So, if my life is so crazy stressful, how am I able to constantly find joy in my life? Joy can be found even in the most difficult of times, a ray of sunlight on the cloudy day. There are some days where all I want to do is drop everything and just go on a 72 hour walk, leaving all my responsibilities behind, because I am so overwhelmed. But in those moments, I am still so blessed by an outstanding amount of joy.
“Be joyful in hope.” Romans 12:12
You see, joy is found when you are secure in the Lord and you know that He will support you in everything that you do. I have grown so much in my faith, knowing and accepting that God has a plan for me, and I need to surrender my worries to Him. He takes my burdens and fills me with joy, allowing me to share this joy with those who I love around me. Easily my favorite part of life is being able to help others find joy. Joy is found when you have a purpose, and let me tell you, YOU have a purpose. You may know it wholeheartedly, or you may be completely unsure that you could possibly have a reason of being here, but I PROMISE you, you have a purpose, a direction in life that was laid out JUST for you. And doesn’t that thought itself bring you so much joy?
“My lips will shout for joy when I sing praise to you” Psalms 71:23
Happiness is temporary, it can go as easily and quickly as it came. But joy, joy is the idea that no matter what, we will praise God and be thankful for all that we have, because we have so much to be thankful and joyful for. Happiness is a feeling; it is in your mind. Joy is deeply rooted in your heart for all eternity, a true gift to each and every one of us.
“Find joy in the Lord always” Philippians 4:4
I am so blessed by some beautiful people in my life. Each and every day, I am reminded that there is so much to be joyful about. Rain can bring you joy. Sunshine can bring you joy. People can bring you joy. Silence can bring you joy. Flowers can bring you joy. He can bring you joy. Your biggest accomplishment can bring you joy. That small moment in your day can bring you joy. Each and every little thing in your life serves a purpose, may it be something grand, or just the purpose of bringing you joy.
Now, what is there not to be joyful about?!
“How can we thank God enough for you in return for all the joy we have in the presence of our God because of you?” 1 Thessalonians 3:9