* Updated to add links (within post) and prayer request: Please stand in prayer for both mine and my sister Rena’s families as we battle the flu this week. THANK YOU!
Do you remember when we talked about joy and “proactive happiness”? Well, once Tommy Newberry opened my heart to this truth, in his books The 4:8 Principle and 40 Days to a Joy Filled Life, I had to take a pause at redefining this joy and make a few adjustments of my own.
Once I completed this study, I was able to take a step back with a closer look at what this means to me and how I might live this truth in my everyday. The bottom line: Our joy in Christ leads to our happiness.
Both, of which, we choose. We choose to embrace who He is in us and, thus, who we are in Him. This joy, as defined by Strong h2304, is the Hebrew hedwa meaning gladness.
We follow that with Webster’s definition of happiness as obsolete: good fortune and contentment: joy
Then back to Webster’s take on joy as the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune, or by the prospect of possessing what one desires: delight.
Emotion evoked by good fortune (happiness), by the prospect of possessing what one desires (Insert Hebrews 11:1 right there.)
By cross-referencing these definitions (Click links for full references from Wester.), we can say that happiness is having desire while expressing joy. Otherwise known as faith. Happiness is the presence of what you want found in the joy of who you are (the joy within expressing the happiness without).
Let’s look at that again. The second entry for happiness is a state of well-being and contentment, and the second entry for joy is a state of happiness or felicity: bliss. Happiness, then, is a state of joy.
So why is this happiness obsolete? Because we are not centered on joy. We are not centered on Him. Happiness is only found in Him—in the joy of Lord—our faith in spite of, in the midst of, and in what we desire for.