There’s that word again: Joy. 

We say it. We hear it. We sing about it. We read about it. 

But do we live with joy? Do we know the difference between joy and happiness? Do we rely too much on emotions? Do we understand the value of deeper joy which is based on internal truth? 

In the chapter “Be Joyful in Hope” from my book Equilibrium, I wrote these words: 

Happiness and joy are not the same. Happiness is a feeling that arrives and departs in predictable and unpredictable methods and times. Happiness is an emotion we can enjoy, but we shouldn’t depend on it. Happiness is not a reliable source. It is more of a nice appetizer or dessert to appreciate occasionally. It’s not the meal we need for our nourishment. Joy doesn’t rely on inner feelings or external news. It is not an emotional high. It is, according to the Bible, a fruit of the Spirt—meaning true joy comes from God’s presence within us, rather than circumstances around us. Be sure to have the correct supply of joy.

In my upcoming book, I have a chapter influenced by the book Surprised by Joy by C. S. Lewis. I hope you will read that chapter. I wrote it during a time of grief, sadness, mourning. When life wasn’t easy. When life wasn’t simple. When life wasn’t pleasant. That was the perfect time for me to write about joy. 

True joy is so much deeper than shallow happiness. True joy comes from an assurance unrelated to weather or money or mood or success or pleasure or feelings or accomplishments. True joy comes from God’s Spirit living within us. 

Remember that word: joy. 

Remember what it isn’t. Remember what it is. 

And receive that gift from the giver of joy.