Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds.
James 1:2 (ESV)
Joy? Really? I’m supposed to have joy in trials?
I will readily admit that joy is not usually my go-to response to a difficult situation.
But what is joy? Joy is not equal to happy. Let’s set that one straight.
HAPPY: lucky, fortunate, successful, prosperous, having secure possession of good.
So if joy isn’t happy, what is it?
JOY: a delight of the mind, from the consideration of the present or assured approaching possession of good. To rejoice; to be glad; to exult.
In Acts, Paul and Barnabas stirred up a bit of a ruckus. They had spent several weeks preaching the Good News of Jesus and people were responding. Of course, the leaders of the city would have none of this and they stirred up people against the boys. Paul and Barnabas left the city, shook the dust off their feet and moved on.
And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.
Acts 13:52 (ESV)
Were they happy that they got kicked out of a city where the population was responding to their message? I doubt it. Yet they still had joy because they still had a purpose and they still had the Holy Spirit. The leaders in the city couldn’t take that away.
The next time you face trials and difficulties, try to separate your happiness from your joy. Happiness comes and goes, by joy comes from the Lord.
Daily Bible reading: Job 33-34, Acts 13:24-52