The Difference Between Happiness and Joy: Joy

Let’s start of first by defining these terms. Happiness is that feeling that comes over you when you feel like life is good and you can’t help but smile in the moment. Being happy is having a sense of confidence in or satisfaction with a person, arrangement, or situation. Joy, on the other hand, arises from the assurance that God is in control of all the details of my life, the confidence that ultimately everything is going to be alright even though it isn’t currently, and the determined choice to praise God in every situation. Joy is an attitude you should have always, in the good times and the bad.

Something that I notice in a lot of movies and in real life is that we mix these two up. We  are constantly looking for the thing that makes us happy. Then, when we find our “happiness”, we are not satisfied. We keep filling ourselves up, getting more and more things. This mentality sounds like:

“Oh, if I get this new game, then people will like me, and my life is complete.”

“Man, if that girl/boy just likes me, then I will be happy”

“Well, if I get that job, then I will be good because I have so much money”


All these things sound so good and amazing, but the problem is that we use them as something that we think will fulfill  our lives. This happiness only lasts a couple days, months, and at best years. In the end, you are never happy and you feel empty. This cycle just continues for your entire life until you die and you die empty, feeling like you were never completed. But guess what, there is hope. There is an answer to the question we all have. “When will my life be complete?”


Jesus is the answer. When Jesus enters your life, he fills that void. You truly feel like your life is complete. This feeling isn’t happiness (happiness is temporary), but it is joy. In God, your joy last forever because you know no matter what happens God is still in control and he always will be. Now, you just praise him because He is so good. You feel Joy through everything. When you are sad, mad, glad, scared, you are joyful because no matter what, you know that God is for you and is with you always.

   Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice.

Philippians 4:4

This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.

Psalm 118:24 

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18  

…And do not be grieved, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.

Nehemiah 8:10


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