Does happiness and joy mean the same? Being happy is temporary and is often based on our circumstances. Joy i s a gift from Jesus. It is lasting. Rejoicing can happen when all is trouble or pain. Joy is a response to another–to Jesus and to others. Before Jesus’ death on the cross, knowing He would suffer and die, spoke these words that promised joy to His disciples:
In a little while you will see me no more…Very truly I tell you, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy…Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy.John 16:19-22
He links joy to action: love each other. Sacrificially. That can be scary. But wonderfully, Jesus called us his friends. Joy becomes a by-product of faithfully responding to what Jesus asks of us. It may often require a choice to sacrifice our time, or our resources, or our emotions. The call to thrive is a when we respond to Christ’s command to love one another. The call to thrive is a person who does joy. The call to thrive is a church who does joy.
if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.Philippians 2:1-4