thDo you think joy and happiness are the same thing? A lot of people will use the words interchangeably  however, I believe they are completely different.

Happiness is an emotion we experience as a result of our circumstances.  When we’re having a good day at the office with things going our way, we’re happy.  When our children do something wonderful at school, we’re happy.  When we are on vacation, away from the hustle and bustle of our daily life, relaxing and enjoying ourselves, we’re happy.  But you don’t hear about people being happy in the midst of struggle or heartache, because happiness and sorrow are opposites.  We can; however, be joyful in all things, because joy isn’t dependent upon our circumstances.

Joy is only dependent upon Jesus.

We can be joyful in a hospital room where we’re contending for the life of a loved one.  We can be joyful when we lose our job or are in the midst of financial ruin. How?

Joy is a gift, not a feeling. It is something we receive from the Lord.

Psalm 16:11 says,

You make known to me the path of life; You will fill me with joy in Your presence, with eternal pleasures at Your right hand.”

Joy comes as the result of being in the presence of the Lord, not favorable circumstances. Therefore, when things are going well, we can be joyful and when the wheels fall off of the bus of life, we can be joyful. 1 Thessalonians 219-20 reminds us Jesus, and Jesus alone is our joy.

Just as a car needs to be filled up regularly to continue going, we need to be filled by the Lord daily… filled with His love, His grace, His mercy, His Spirit and His joy. He gives us what we need to make it through a day, but then we need refilling [Luke 11:3]. In order to always have what we need to get through our day, we need to be filled regularly.

Today, you can experience unspeakable joy. The choice is yours. The Lord has it and He is willing to give it to you freely. All you have to do is come to Him, rest in His presence and allow Him to fill you with it. I don’t know about you, but like a car on empty, I’m going to pull up to my Lord and allow Him to fill ‘er up.


*Next week is spring break and I’ll be taking the week off to spend it with my family.  I’ll meet you back here on Monday, April 15th.  Have a great week and don’t forget to fill your tank.