It’s been said that happiness is external, subject to situations and circumstances, while joy is internal and abiding, a gift from God.
Joy is God’s Spirit planted and rooted deep within us, regardless of a situation or circumstance.
Joy, unlike happiness, is the flip side of sorrow; the two are always connected. Without experiencing sorrow, we could never know joy.
Happiness is fleeting, never quite filling our cup to the level of contentment. Thackeray wrote in Vanity Fair:
Ah! Vanitas Vanitatum! Which of us is happy in this world?
Which of us has his desire? Or having it, is satisfied?
Money is capable of ensuring a certain amount of happiness, but how easy it is to get stranded on the merry-go-round of desire and dissatisfaction. The more money we make, the more we want. The more we want, the more we spend.
Round and round we go, never satisfied with the thrill of more money coming in, new and cool stuff being acquired, and the fleeting happiness that comes with every new dollar made and spent. Enough is never enough.
And then we’re vulnerable to the sin of stinginess.
The thing about this fast-moving merry-go-round of desire is that there’s no way to step off and settle down and rejoice.
Some of the poorest people I’ve ever known happen to be some of the happiest and most giving people I’ve known, sustained as they are by the gift of the deep-flowing joy.
Rejoice every minute, for unto us a savior bearing the gift of joy has been born.