We all know that there is a difference between joy and happiness. I have heard it said that happiness is dependent upon circumstances while joy is an attitude of the heart. There’s a little song I’ve heard that talks about having joy by putting Jesus and others first, then yourself last.
I feel that one of the greatest ways to show my girls the meaning of joy is by demonstrating my faith and trust in God when times are tough. Happiness easily rises to the surface when we are all healthy, money is coming in regularly and our relationships are solid. My chance to exhibit joy comes about when someone is sick, finances are tight or other seemingly negative experiences arise.
I can also help them to see that joy comes about by serving others. When we take our eyes off of ourselves and seek to help someone else, we can find that joy comes to us when we are not even expecting it. Joy is listed in the Bible as a fruit of the spirit and is something that I can have and live in only as I allow the Holy Spirit to work it in me.
Here are a few quotes about joy.
Richard Wagner said, “Joy is not in things; it is in us.”
“He who has not looked on sorrow will never see Joy.” Kahlil Gibran
“Learning to live in the present moment is part of the path of joy.” Sarah Ban Breathnach
“There is no greater joy nor greater reward than to make a fundamental difference in someone’s life.” Sister Mary Rose McGeady