Get High On Life

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 18, 2001


Are you happy or truly joyful in Christ? Is there a difference between happiness and joy? It seems that the two go together and compliment each other. I didn’t realize how much difference there is between the two until early last Friday morning at a Bible study. The subject was about having joy in your life. I read, and I repeat the scripture in Nehemiah 8:10 – “…for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” It suggests very specifically that if we want to be strong in our Christian walk, we don’t have a choice. We must have joy. Will joy bring happiness? Sometimes, but not always. Will happiness bring joy? Never! Sounds confusing? Not really, if you look at the following definitions for both. According to Webster, happiness is a state of being in which one’s desires are gratified, by the enjoyment of pleasure without pain. Joy is a glorious and triumphant state. Happiness is the emotion that is stirred when all of life seems to be going the way we feel it should. Joy, on the other hand, is the inner confidence, peace and sense of direction that makes us able to face anything, knowing and trusting God, regardless of circumstances. John 16:33 tells us very plainly that we will have trouble in this world. Without joy, it is impossible to victoriously walk through trials. There are three things that kill joy. They are selfishness, resentment and fear. If a person is selfish, holds resentments or lives in fear, he or she can still experience periods of happiness, but will be robbed of joy I’m reminded of my barroom-hopping days. Many places advertised “Happy Hour.” Imagine barrooms telling people when to be happy! During those “happy hours,” many people who were selfish, resentful and fearful enjoyed being happy for a while. Happiness is directly related to what people or things can do for you to be gratified with pleasure. Joy, on the other hand, is a gift of the Holy Spirit. I remember someone saying that JOY stands for Jesus first, Other people second, and You last. The secret to a joyful life is to have your priorities in order. As Christians, we should daily walk in two of the gifts of the Holy Spirit – love and joy. When I was in the Navy, and the captain was aboard ship, the captain’s flag flew high to let everyone know that he was on board. When the queen of England is in her palace, the queen’s flag flies over it to announce to everyone that she is in the palace. As Christians, joy should be the flag that flies over our hearts to announced that Jesus is in residence. Which flag flies over your heart? HAROLD KELLER writes this column as part of his affiliation with the Get High on Life religious motivational group. Call him at (985) 652-8477.