Happiness always has something dynamic in it, while joy can be something very sweet, mild, fine, and calm. Happiness can cause you to experience an ecstatic movement, and you may lose your balance. But if it’s subtle joy, inner joy, you don’t lose your outer balance. But this is just a game with words. In reality, there is no difference between the happiness of the soul and real joy. Happiness and joy are synonyms.
When we experience real joy, we can feel that God is satisfied with us. God’s greatest achievement is our joy. When we are unhappy and depressed, we harbor ungodly, negative powers. But when we are really happy, we can feel that we are giving something to God. God’s greatest joy is to receive this gift from us.
How happiness becomes visible
Happiness is also a promise in the Bible for those who do not violate God’s good order.
Proverbs 16:20: Those who pay attention to the word of the Lord find happiness; well, he who trusts him.
You can quickly tell whether people are happy: a smile on their faces, shiny eyes, or a song on their lips. The Bible knows that too.
Merciful Father’s Happiness
The parable of the prodigal son and the compassionate father is about the happiness of a family and the joy of a father that his son has returned home healthy. The man has two sons: the younger one asks his father for his inheritance and leaves the family. He squandered his legacy, starved, and returned ruefully.
The father receives him and arranges a party. The older son does not understand his father’s actions and his joy at repenting a sinner.
The Joy of God
“The joy of the Lord” is the subject of this chapter. You can laugh with God but also discover that He rejoices over you. The Bible book of Zephaniah says: He will rejoice with joy. He will be silent in His love. He will rejoice over you with cheers. (Zef. 3:17)
The joy of God, the heavenly joy, is based on His unconditional love. With God, you can be who you are, you don’t have to do anything, and you can’t pretend to be better. He finds joy in you because you are His workmanship. He rejoices over you with cheers.
Many of us grew up with the idea that you shouldn’t laugh in church and that you shouldn’t be too happy. You enter the house of God with respect and reverence. And that’s good, but you can also honor the Lord by expressing your joy.
It says in the Bible: Serve the Lord with joy. (Ps. 100: 2a) We should be happy about who He is, what He has done, and what He is going to do. Being happy and laughing is also very healthy for a person because a happy heart promotes healing (Proverbs 17:22).
Joyful people are very infectious people. If someone starts to laugh with laughter, you can often no longer suppress your own laugh. Laughter connects, and joy is passed on. Isaiah 61 says that God wants to give us joy oil instead of grief. The oil softens, heals, and heals. Just think of the expression ‘pouring oil into the wounds.’ You may know how penetrating oil works. You spray some of this oil on
places where a human hand cannot reach. What is rusty and stiff, the oil makes it supple and movable again. For example, joy oil can make you supple and greasy again so that you are slippery for the enemy, who can, therefore, not grab you.
Joy is a high-energy state for your brain. Direct face to face eye contact creates a fast connection between the right hemisphere of two people. The signals go back and forth six times within a second! This back and forth cycle reinforces the joy. This high energy state makes you feel special and loved.
Regardless of circumstances
First, we have to make the decision to be happy regardless of our circumstances, because true divine joy is not based on what’s going on around us.
It is clear to me that we cannot always influence our circumstances and what happens in our lives. But it is up to us how we react to it.
Nobody can take away the hope we have as Christians if we don’t let it be taken away. The key is to believe what God says about us in the Bible – especially that He saved us through Jesus and made us new people.
Rather, we know that if someone belongs to Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed; something completely new has started!
The Bible: 2 Corinthians 5:17
(Psalm 139: 13-14 and 2 Corinthians 5: 18-21 are also important scriptures on the subject.)
Happy or selfish?
Another biblical principle that I have discovered that guarantees our happiness is found in Matthew 16:24 (NGC), where Jesus says:
If someone wants to be my disciple, they have to deny themselves, take up their cross, and follow me.
The Bible: Matthew 16:24
This verse expresses the following: If you want to be happy, you have to learn to give away your life. “Life to give” is the motto.
It is not easy at first because we are naturally selfish people who usually think of themselves first. But to really live, we have to bury our ego. I’m not talking about physical death here, but about the willingness to give up your own wishes in order to do something good for others.
It’s one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned. You cannot be selfish and happy at the same time. I know that from my own experience and – more importantly – from the things the Bible has to say about selfishness.
Love is not selfish. For example, in 1 Corinthians 13: 5 (NGC):
Love … does not behave tactlessly; it does not seek its own advantage; it does not lose control; it does not bear anything.
The Bible: 1 Corinthians 13: 5
In 1 Corinthians 15:31, the apostle Paul writes that he faces death every day, which basically means that he was not selfish. Rather, he devoted himself entirely to the task that God had entrusted to him.
A role model in love for others
As Christians, we are destined to become Jesus Christ (see Romans 8:29). Jesus is the greatest role model when it comes to loving others and not living a selfish life.
In 1 John 3:16 (NGÜ) it says:
We recognized what love is from what Jesus did: He gave his life for us. Therefore we also have to be ready to give our lives for our siblings.
The Bible: 1 John 3:16
This passage shows us that Jesus gave up everything and thereby proved his love for us. We should follow the example of Jesus.
In fact, loving others is not always easy, and it usually costs us something: time, money, convenience, and more. But our relationship with Jesus gives us the strength and ability to love others, even if it appears to cost more than we think we can give.
God cares about you …
God is faithful. He gives us his love, grace, and wisdom so that we can give others a helping hand and do them good. If we do that, we end up having more joy than before.
The world is full of lonely, suffering people who yearn for God’s love. You need the hope that can only be found in Jesus. No longer ask: “And me?” But rather pray: “God, show me someone who needs something. Show me someone; I can help. “
… so that you can take care of others
We can all still grow in our relationship with God. As soon as we learn to take care of other people, that is exactly what happens. Our selfish endeavors to always only take care of our own needs make us weak. The more we trust God to meet our needs, the more we can help others … and the happier we will be.
So, start giving your fellow human beings a helping hand, encouraging them, and meeting their needs as best you can. Decide to do something good for someone every day and thus enrich his life. Believe me: If you live for God by practically showing your love to others, your life will be really exciting!