Today i was talking to a very dear friend of mine. A couple months ago i had explained to her that i felt that i had a lack of joy in my life and although i deeply desired to have joy, i was struggling to find it. Joy in my opinion does not equal happiness but instead is something much greater and something much harder to attain. Joy is a much deeper and much more fulfiling than happiness thus is why i have such a desire to possess it. Everyone can find something that makes them happy. Happiness for me comes in the form of a good cup of coffee, watching a movie with close friends, receiving a good grade on an exam, or thrift store hunting. But utter joy cannot be found in the temporary nature of these things. To be joyful is to be content but not just content for a moment or even a day but to satisfied in your soul....Was C.S. Lewis right when he said" I sometimes wonder whether all pleasures are substitutes for joy."
How does one achieve Joy? or if you believe you have attained Joy..how does one keep it?
I think everyone can be happy but not everyone can be joyful simply because it is clear that joy comes from God alone through the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22). Even though being baptized in the Spirit allows us to be filled with Joy... this doesn't mean that we are always good at recognizing or even allowing Joy to be seen in our lives. There is no question in my mind that joy is attained in heaven and kept forever their in us. But i find it hard to recognize the joy in my life even today. Often i find that my only source of joy comes solely from knowing that i have been saved from death (Psalm 51:12) but to me this isn't enough simply because i'm commanded to "Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is is God's WILL for you in Christ Jesus." (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)
Much easier said then done... but we must strive to live in this way. I know that the presence of God in my life is more than enough to satisfy my heart.
"The sovereign God wants to be loved for Himself and honored for Himself, but that is only part of what He wants. The other part is that He wants us to know that when we have Him we have everything -- we have all the rest."