Happiness vs. Joy

No matter how happy I am, I’ve realized that happiness is a fleeting feeling that only comes with the good times in life; but it never stays with me forever. Everything could be going right in my life, making me 100% happy, but no matter what I always feel like something is missing. Well they say it’s best to find joy instead of seeking happiness and it’s taken me quite some time to recognize that as the truth. See I tend to stand in denial at times when it comes to happiness because I never want to seem ungrateful for the great things that go on in my life. But who wants their happiness to be contingent upon their current position in life, where they stand in situations, or people in the world who have yet to find their own way? That’s exactly what happiness is.

On the other hand joy comes from a source of light reflected within us from a higher power which I choose to believe is God. I’m ashamed to say that in the past I’ve been one of those people who will go to church when I feel like it, often staying in bed on Sundays just because I want to sleep a little more or because it’s too cold outside. But deep down I’ve always craved a stronger relationship with God. I was brought up in the church by my grandma who made sure I got up for Sunday School all the way until I turned 18. I’ll say her church was far from interesting, and the older I got the more I began to hate the idea of religion. Throughout my late teen years and my early 20’s, I stood on the border of seeking a closer relationship with God and just wanting to live my life how I saw fit. Hence the reason my happiness has always been a result of the world around me.

As I’ve grown older, I now understand how important it is for me to be as close to God as possible in order to obtain the true joy necessary for me to live completely at peace within this world that has gone completely bonkers. I’m not saying I’m always in church and while I ended the year strongly by finishing a year of daily devotions and praying more than ever before, I can’t say that I’ve started 2016 as strongly as I would have liked; but I’ve never once stopped seeking a closer relationship with God. No matter how much I think I can carry the weight of my problems on my own, it’s just impossible if I really want to have true joy covering my life. Going to Wednesday night Bible Study and church on Sundays give me a sense of peace I now see I can’t get anywhere else and attending those services make me want to seek God more in my everyday life as well. I can front all I want and try to convince myself that I am building my relationship with God, but personally I NEED to be in church twice a week to keep my eye on the prize which is becoming familiar with the Word and in return finding joy that cannot falter.

Whatever your spirit of belief is, the only way to find true joy is to connect more and more and strengthen your relationship with that power. We get so caught up in worldly matters (it’s hard not to with everything right in your face these days) that we tend to forget that our joy can’t come from ANYTHING in this world. I personally can do without the feelings of anxiety and depression which are both easy to become victim to just because our world in general is negative. So I’m challenging myself to continue on this journey in finding joy because  happiness can always get taken away at the drop of a dime, but no one can steal your joy but you.

-Shants ♥

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