Happiness is based on HAPPENSTANCE. The word “happiness” originates from the 19th century in which the word “happen” and “circumstance” blended into “happenstance.” Happiness is contingent upon the circumstances of your life.
When things are going positively, often you will experience HAPPINESS based on the positive circumstances of your life!
However, while many people experience spurts of HAPPINESS, many people navigate life without knowledge of how to experience JOY.
Biblically, there are two definitions of joy, based on the one who is experiencing it. There is GOD’S joy, otherwise, what brings the Lord joy. And there is OUR joy, what brings us joy. Both of these definitions coincide together to bring us back into the harmony the Father intended in the garden- for Him to enJOY us, and for us to enJOY Him!
What is the “JOY OF THE LORD”? Hebrews 12:2 says, “Because of the joy awaiting Him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame.” I can tell ya right now, that Jesus wasn’t experiencing HAPPINESS regarding the circumstances that awaited Him on the day of His crucifixion. There is nothing “happy” about being mocked, spit on, flogged & whipped, tortured and crucified by the ones you were choosing to DIE for.
So what was the JOY of the Lord on that day? It was US. The joy that was set before Jesus was US. He knew that the only way to reconcile His first joy back to Himself was to die for us. Think about it- the JOY of the Lord is YOU!
So what is OUR joy? Joy is the inner gladness we can choose to experience that is completely and totally independent from our circumstances. In James 1:2-4 it says, “Consider it PURE JOY, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
When we count our trials as JOY it will strengthen our faith and give us the grace to persevere. Persevere towards what? JESUS CHRIST! THE HOPE OF GLORY!
Just as the Father created us to enJOY, we were also created to enJOY HIM! He is our hope!
So, despite our trials, we can choose JOY, because of what is set before US, as we carry our own cross.
The joy that was set before Jesus as He carried His cross was US. And the joy that is set before US as we carry our cross is HIM.
CONSIDER IT PURE JOY!
This content was published with permission from the author, Lindsay Davis. It first appeared on her Facebook page. Lindsay lives in Redding, California and is a student at the Bethel Supernatural School of Ministry. Follow her writing at Radical Jesus Lover/ Lindsay Davis Page.
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