I do a lot of people watching, especially on vacations. Vacations can be miserable...apparently. We just got back from a week long cruise with family and friends. For me, it was a great time. So many people on a boat filled with plenty to do, great food, sunshine, and no work! But it didn’t seem as though they were relaxed and stress free.
I remember when we took our children to Disney years ago. Disney is said to be the “happiest place on earth”. Well, it wasn’t the week we went. Everywhere we went, we saw parents yelling and screaming at their kids, kids running out of control with no supervision and fathers with a look on their face saying they’ve had enough. No one looked as though they were happy.
I believe there’s a huge difference between happiness and joy. Happiness is temporary and can be found in food, drink, a hobby, money, and even a job promotion. Joy is eternal and can only be found in a savior, Jesus Christ. There’s a big difference. When your joy is coming from an eternal being, it’s just that, eternal. Nothing around you whether circumstances or people can take it away. It’s deep inside you. You can still be sad, down or even depressed but the external cause of this joy, Jesus Christ, is ever present, always there for you and always loving you. It changes everything. Without Him, everything can easily affect us, even when we’re relaxing on a beach in the beautiful sunshine.
Happiness depends on things that happen, joyfulness is never touched by external conditions. Joy means the perfect fulfillment of that for which I was created, not the successful doing of a thing.
One of the most fascinating books of the Bible for me has always been Ecclesiastes which was written by one of the smartest and richest people ever, Solomon. He speaks of having everything he could ever want(riches, wisdom, fame, etc) and all of it was “like chasing the wind.” Ecclesiastes 1:14 “I observed everything going on under the sun, and really, it is all meaningless-like chasing the wind.”
I love this quote from William B. Girao. “Live in such a way that even if given another opportunity to live your life all over again, you would still choose to live it exactly the same way that you are living your life now.”
Where are we finding our happiness and how long is it lasting? There is something out there that is eternal and will bring joy to you that’s unexplainable and will last forever. The good news is this “something” is someONE who is pursuing you and wants nothing more than for you to feel this joy. All you have to do is say yes to Him. It’s not a religion, it’s a relationship.