So I know it's Thursday and I'm just now posting Tuesday's Tool. I couldn't wait until next week to post this. I was reading my daughter's devotional book this morning and I was struck by the simplicity in this author's definition of the difference between happiness and joy.
this came out of the children's devotional book Jesus Calling by Sarah Young...
"Happiness depends on this world, on what is going on around you. Happiness is when you ace the test, or make the winning shot, or you're headed for a vacation at the beach with your best friend. It depends on everything being just right. Happiness is wonderful, but it lasts only a little while.
But Joy--true Joy--is something entirely different. Joy doesn't depend on this world, or whether you're having a good day; it depends on Me. Joy is knowing that I am in control, that I love you and will take care of you - evenwhen you flunk the test, or make the last out, or your family can't afford a vacation. Stay close to Me, and I'll give you My Joy in every situation."
Romans 12:2 says "Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer." (NIV)
How about the New Living Translation version of this verse: "Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying."
Isn't it so good that God doesn't expect us to be happy all the time? Instead His expectation of us is that we will be "joyful in hope" and that we would "be joyful always..." (1 Thess. 5:16) . You might be thinking "that's a tall order in my life right now, Jamie." By no means am I trying to water down anyone's difficult circumstances... I do want to point to the fact that we can be joyful always because our faith is rooted in God - who is Magnificient, Mighty to Save, All Powerful, All Knowing, Creator, Savior and Redeemer, Giver of Life, Holy of Holies, The One True God, King of kings and Lord of lords, our Defender, Full of Mercy and Grace, a Just Judge, our Shelter, our Shepherd, our Teacher, our Helper, Love in it's fullest and our hope is in Him!