Let’s face it, not everything goes our way. Things don’t always work out as we planned. Some days are disasters. Other days are worse than that.
Happiness comes easily when things go our way. Joy is different. It’s deeper. Joy is an attitude we select. Happiness is external and subject to what happens. Joy is an inside job in which we opt to rejoice regardless of the circumstances.
Don’t confuse happiness with joy. Happiness is a buoyant emotion that results from the momentary plateaus of well-being. Joy is bedrock stuff. Joy is a confidence that operates irrespective of our moods. Joy is the certainty that all is well, however we feel.
Joy is a divine dimension of living that is not shackled by circumstances simply because we have chosen to respond in a positive manner. Paul is saying in Philippians 4:4 that joy is not something that happens to me but rather something I deliberately and consciously select. Circumstances seldom generate lasting smiles and laughter. Joy comes to those who determine to choose it in spite of their circumstances.