Tag Archives: happiness

Joy vs Happiness. What is the Difference?

Joy vs happiness. What is the difference?Joy vs Happiness. What is the difference?Remember the song “Don’t worry be happy!” Or when the bright yellow smiley faces were everywhere and bumper stickers proclaimed every possible source for happiness insisting to us “Happiness is being married,” “Happiness is being single,” or  “Happiness is being (fill in the blank)!”

Happiness my friend is fleeting. As the word implies – happiness is associated with happenstance, happenings, luck or good fortune. It boils down to our circumstances being favorable – then we feel we are happy; if circumstances don’t seem to stack in our favor then unhappiness moves in sending our emotions reeling. To experience happiness we think we must feel good emotionally. Some will even try to convince us that happiness is a journey. We all are aware it is impossible to be happy when we rely on our emotions. So how do we handle our emotions when we want peace but our circumstances are not favorable?

The Lord is both our source and the object of our joy. Knowing Him brings joy that transcends all of our temporal circumstances. Nehemiah 8:10 gives us assurance by boldly declaring “The joy of the Lord is our strength.” We can rely on His joy to strengthen us through whatever trial we are facing. So many of us are facing intense trials where we have to stand and fight off the enemy yet we feel we have no fight left in us sometimes. This my friend is the time to rely on God’s joy to give you the strength you need to endure.

Joy is directly related to God. Joy, in contrast to happiness, is the firm unshakable confidence that all is well no matter what our circumstances are telling us. Joy is every believers gift from God. It is the fruit which the Holy Spirit produces within us according to Galatians 5:22. It is a characteristic of God Himself.

We all face trials in our lives however these trials need not rob us of our joy. James 1:2 says we should be joyful when we encounter various trials because these trials produce spiritual endurance and maturity. They also prove our faith is genuine. According to Peter a proven faith is the source of great joy (1 Peter 1:6-8).

Let’s look at Habakkuk 3:17: “Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crops fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls…” My goodness these are some intense problems here my friend! Now hold on look at what he says next…

“YET!!!!!!!!” (emphasis mine because you have to get this!!!!) Though it all seems to be falling apart he is not going to surrender, he is not going to let his emotions determine whether he is happy. He says, “Yet I will REJOICE IN THE LORD, I will be JOYFUL IN GOD MY SAVIOR” (v. 18). He is going to choose to REJOICE because, “The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go on the heights” (v. 19). Habakkuk was a man who decide he was NOT going to allow his circumstance to determine his state of mind. He was going to be strengthened by the Lord’s joy and he was in no way going to stay defeated. His circumstance could have allowed him to be unhappy and defeated, but he chose to allow the joy of the Lord to help him to rise up out of his circumstance and move on! The difference between the person who chooses to stay in defeat and unhappiness – and the person who is victorious, by relying on the Lord’s joy, is the one who will come out of their storm quicker.

I’m not saying you are not going to have problems or that hard times won’t come along and take the wind out of your sail. However we have the choice in how we are going to react. We live in a world corrupted by sin and filled with turmoil. But your hope is in a living God – not in this dying world. He is more than “able to keep you from stumbling and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy” (Jude 24). That is our assurance – eternal joy; a joy which comes from trusting the Lord in the MIDST of the storm. And while we wait on this earth until Jesus returns we must not neglect His Word, despise the trials we face, or even lose sight of our eternal reward. These are all key ingredients of our present joy. Happiness is fleeting however the joy of the Lord is eternal.

{Some of this content is from my book, Help! I’m Alone With My Mind; A Guide To Having Victory Over Your Thoughts!}

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Your needs met? Can it Really happen?

Your needs met. Can that really happen? Keys to victorious faith. inspirational blog

There are so many lessons which can be taught from Mark 6 where Jesus feeds the five thousand with a little boys lunch! In this story the disciples and Jesus were trying to go off by themselves after coming back from a ministry tour. However, alone is hardly what they were. The Bible says there were five thousand men and that was not counting women and children. So being alone was far from what these men were. However, Jesus in His love and compassion does not send them away but ministers to them. And not only does He minister to them spiritually, He instructs the disciples to minister to their very need of food. Jesus does not do the easy and convenient thing; send them home. He instructs the disciples to feed them! “Feed them!!” I can hear them answering in rebuttal. As a matter of fact they say “With What?” Can you hear the amazement in their voice as if they are saying “Can Jesus not see how many are here, thousands of hungry people and the place is a remote area, so how are we to do that?” Jesus instructs them to prepare for a meal. He plans on feeding the entire crowd with a two piece fish dinner!!!

One of the things I love is Jesus knew there were thousands and He knew there was only 5 loves of bread and 2 small fish, remember this meal was packed for a little boy, not a multitude! Jesus even goes so far as to count the amount of people when He gives specific instructions for them to sit in groups of fifty or a hundred. Why would Jesus do that? Just pray over the meal and start passing it out I say. Why count them? I think Jesus was not only going to show God’s mighty power by providing, He wanted it known just how powerful and mighty God is, that NOTHING is impossible for God! NOTHING! But Jesus was not concerned with the odds which faced them. He was not concerned with lack. He knew His Heavenly Father would show up and provide! Jesus was showing those present and His disciples that He could overcome this and so could they!

So many feel as if the odds are stacked against them. They feel like they have over five thousand to feed and only a “snack” to do it with. And it’s during those times that doubt can begin to overrun our understanding of “how.” How is God going to change my situation, when is He going to step in and turn it around? The situation you are facing may seem insurmountable, it may seem like over five thousand are waiting on you. But we must remember Jesus is not concerned with the odds, He can, will, and has overcome any obstacle. Your two piece fish dinner is what He needs to turn the situation around!

When they brought to Jesus the only thing they had – this little boy’s lunch, Jesus took it and then in verse 41 He blessed it. We have to give God something for Him to bless! That was the answer to their problem and it is the answer to yours. What do you have that you can put into Jesus’ hands and have Him raise it up to the Father and bless it. Whatever Jesus blesses is more than enough! In verse 41 it says he kept giving the bread to the disciples. They brought what they had, Jesus blessed it, and it was more than enough!

Whatever odds you are facing remember through Jesus anything is possible. You give Him something to bless, give Him your faith and trust in Him, give Him your finances, give Him whatever He asks you to give so He can bless it. Do not allow doubt to step in and stop your blessing from Jesus. Move forward in faith, give Him something to bless and watch as you too  “eat as much as you want… with baskets left over.”

{Want more devotions? I’m A Sword Wielding Devil Slayer; Declaring the Word of God and Taking Back What the Devil Stole from Me!}

Mother May I

Mother May I? Giving us permission as women of God. Keys to victorious faith. Inspirational BlogThe other day I was thinking back to when I was a young girl and used to love to play games with my siblings and my cousins next door. We would head outside after breakfast and stay outside until dinner; never once wanting to go inside. If there is one thing children know how to do; they know how to have fun. Even as an adult when I pass a park I always watch what the children are doing; they are always having tons of fun as they run, jump, and skip all over the park. The problem with us as adults is that we have lost that childlike enthusiasm and exuberance to be happy and excited about simple things in life. But we can still have that excitement in our lives; we just need to know it is perfectly okay to do so.

If I were to ask people what they think life is about most would say it is about being happy and being fulfilled. We can start living the lives we have always dreamed about but we must first believe we deserve it; especially as women. As women we are always there to help others, do for others, and put others before ourselves. We do not always feel as a mom that we should go before our children, or as a co-worker that we should outrank someone else. Women’s nature is to nurture; that is why we do not feel we deserve to be put first. Far too many of us have far too little fun; work, family, church, school, etc seem to take up most of our days.

We need to find the courage and give ourselves permission to live the life we have always dreamed about. Remember when we used to play the game “Mother May I?” To play the game we had to ask permission before we could take the next step. Our life is still like that now; we need to ask “mother may I” and then step out into our lives!

We need to once again find the magic that once made our life very special as children. These extraordinary feelings are still hidden inside of us; we simply need to unleash them once again. We need to find our unique place in life; that distinctive niche that enables us to be our best and do our best. When we begin passionately pursuing those activities that we love to do, we will find our special niche waiting for us.

There are plenty of good times and good things waiting to happen for us, we just need to open up and let them happen. Once we find all of the fun, happiness and excitement life has to offer, we need to make certain that we keep these magical moments close to our heart. Wherever and whenever we find something worth keeping, we need to grab it with every ounce of strength we can muster and then hold on tight and never let it go.

We will uncover new opportunities, discover new horizons, and have more fun than we ever imagined was possible when we play a little game of “Mother May I” every day for the rest of your lives.

{Want more devotions? I’m A Sword Wielding Devil Slayer; Declaring the Word of God and Taking Back What the Devil Stole from Me!}

Finding True Happiness

Finding true happiness. Keys to victorious faith author Sandra HerseyEvery day, as we seek happiness, the world seduces us with it’s abundance of “things” and people we can possess. And the world gives us plenty of reasons why we should have them. It could be a new car, new shoes or even a new spouse.

But if our happiness depends on our possessions, then we are destined to spend our lives chasing after an illusion.

There is a story of a thirsty poet who was walking in the woods one night when he came upon a well with a bucket and an attached rope. He looked into the well and the vision that met his eyes made his heart stop momentarily. Although a man accustomed to waxing lyrical about almost anything, he found no words to describe the beauty of the tranquil, perfectly round object, shimmering with ivory light at the bottom of the well.

Determined that such a dazzling thing should be his, he lowered the bucket into the well and tried to “catch” the object. The instant the bucket touched the water, the thing of beauty began to waver and distort. The poet brought up several buckets full of water, but the object remained at the bottom of the well. After the ripples had settled, it seemed to mock him with its serenity and inertia.

Undeterred, the poet labored the entire night until finally, he had emptied the well. He looked down and was shocked to see that the vision of beauty was no longer there! Worn out and distraught, he fell on his back, bemoaning his “loss”. At that moment, he saw the fading moon in the sky, making way for the morning sun, and finally understood his folly.

Like the poet in the story, many of us spend our lives attempting to possess the objects of our desires. We try vainly to “scoop up the moon”, not realizing that it’s merely a reflection we see. We assume falsely that what we want is right there in the water. We think that we can bring it up to us, and when we do, we will be happy.

Eventually, we look around and realize that we had wasted our time and energy on artificial and inconstant things. We had squandered the water that would have relieved our thirst. We look up and realize that the actual moon was in the sky all along. It’s beauty was something that anyone could savor without effort or price, but that no one could own or control, no matter how hard one tried.

Trying to find happiness in possessing people or things will ultimately bring us heartache, frustration and regret. It is in realizing that although we cannot possess the moon, we can still behold its beauty, that we find lasting fulfillment and mental tranquility.

“To the man who pleases him, God gives wisdom, knowledge and happiness, but to the sinner he gives the task of gathering and storing up wealth to hand it over to the one who pleases God. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.” {Ecclesiastes 2:26}

“But happy are those . . . whose hope is in the LORD their God.” {PSALM 146:5}

Do you sincerely want to be a happy Christian? Then set your mind and your heart upon God’s love and His grace, not on things or people.

Happiness depends less upon our circumstances than upon our thoughts. When we turn our thoughts to God, to His gifts, and to His glorious creation, we experience the joy that God intends for His children. But, when we focus on the negative aspects of life, or what we must possess, we suffer needlessly.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father in Jesus Name I choose to be thankful for all the blessings You have given me. I choose to be a happy Christian, Father, as I share Your joy with friends, family, and the world. Amen!

{Want more devotions? I’m A Sword Wielding Devil Slayer; Declaring the Word of God and Taking Back What the Devil Stole from Me!}