“The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy.” psalm 126:3
Upon being asked how you were feeling after a great day, what would you say? Did you experience happiness or joy that day? The past few years of my life I have been on the constant pursuit of happiness, using a variety of things or people to achieve this. There is only one problem here, happiness is a man-made illusion. Even as I called myself “happy” I was never fulfilled. I was always looking for someone to love me harder or to understand me more.
Twenty-eight days ago I left California seeking the next version of myself. Little did I know, this meant I was seeking joy in my life. The dictionary definition of the word joy is “a feeling of great pleasure and happiness”. Joy is something greater than happiness, something greater that this world can manifest. Happiness is temporary, happiness is circumstantial, just like the world in which we live. Joy was created in the character of God and brought down to Earth by his son. Now if i have learned one thing it’s this, joy does not necessarily mean always having a smile on your face. Joy is fighting the good fight, joy is constantly praising God, joy is a full heart. Joy isn’t always the best moments in life. Sure, running through the sprinklers at two a.m, stargazing on the roof, and spontaneous dance parties will always put a smile on my face, but will they fill me up? Sadly, no. The best moments in life are not always the happiest. Check out the book of James, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.” [James 1:2-3]. The deeper our faith, the greater joy we are able to receive and comprehend.
This month I faced trials, I was stretched to my limits, I was emptied out by the world. This month God walked beside me, God provided strength to keep going, God filled my heart up. Yes, I found happiness in the moments, but that still leaves many untouched points of the day. As I was pursuing Him throughout these last few weeks, the fight became extremely tough. Situations were brought up that I was by no means ready to deal with on my on. Well, guess what. I didn’t have to. This month I had an individual placed in my life who understands me on an entirely different level. As I was reaching my breaking point she was able to turn my eyes back on The Lord to be renewed in his love. Just like Psalm 23 says, “The Lord has done great things for us”. The Lord has placed incredible people in my life, The Lord has provided unfailing strength, The Lord has changed my heart, but most importantly The Lord has filled my life with joy. I have finally experienced pure joy, something I never knew i was seeking and something I never want to live without. So here’s to the big guy upstairs, for always providing us with what we didn’t know we needed.
Happiness is temporary, just like this world. Choose joy, it’s worth fighting for.