Unlimited: Hopeful Joy
Jul 31, 2023 416
Be joyful in hope (Romans 12:12a.)
Some Christians do a grave disservice to their faith by the demeanour of their lives. They talk fondly of the hope they have in Christ, in salvation, in heaven, and in the life to come. Yet their present lives appear to be totally devoid of joy. To excuse this, they say that “joy” is not the same thing as “happiness.” This allows them to excuse their miserable lives of piety.
As far as the Bible is concerned, “joy” is precisely the same thing as “happiness.” The underlying Greek words are identical. There is no difference.
As far as the Bible is concerned, “joy” is precisely the same thing as “happiness.”
It was medieval Christianity that sought to quell the happiness of the people, so they appropriated the word “joy” to refer to a form of pious Christian misery. For them, “joy” was a positive feeling that was buried so deeply in the heart that it wasn’t evident or expressed in the life. And so, “joy” and “happiness” have wrongly come to have different connotations in Christian circles. Let’s just simply face the fact that Jesus wants you to be happy!
The hope of which Scripture speaks is likewise not a future possibility, or even a future certainty, but a present reality that is being worked out in our lives today, as the apostle Peter tells us in 1 Peter 1:8–9.
Are you happy today? Are you happy as you look toward the future? What is it within you that resists your happiness? Spend some time surrendering it to the Lord.