I like to think I’m a fairly happy person.
I also know I can fake happiness pretty easily when I need to.
I ALSO know that I rely on my emotions (specifically the happy emotion) to dictate my reality WAY too often.
I think we all just want to be happy in life. When you talk to people (myself included) about their future, the response is usually, “I want to get married, have kids, a good job, and be happy.”
According to the internets, the definition of happy is: feeling pleasure or enjoyment because of your life, situation, etc.
That’s great and all, but what happens when your life, situation, etc. doesn’t shake out the way you thought it would?
What happens when you’re a newlywed and you find out you can’t have children?
When you’re 47 and your dreams of being a wife and mother seem unreachable?
When you’re a widow at the age of 25?
Where is your happiness then?
I think we trick ourselves in to thinking that happiness is sustainable. That if we can just “be happy” everything else will fall in to place. But that’s an illusion. That’s not real life. Happiness is fickle and can change in an instant.
I need joy, not happiness. Joy (again, defined by the internets) is: a settled state of contentment, confidence, and hope.
I really love that. Because my settled state of contentment, confidence, and hope can be on Jesus and He doesn’t change!!
My emotions are famous for changing at the drop of a hat. Literally. Dropping a hat could make me cry.
But praise God my heart can be settled on Jesus and He is my source of joy.
Sure, happiness comes out of joy, but the Lord sustains my joy regardless of my circumstance.
When you’re a newlywed and find out you can’t have children, God is still God.
When you’re 47 and your dreams of being a wife and mother seem unreachable, God is still God.
When you’re a widow at the age of 25, God is still God.
And He is still good.
Great post! I’ve been learning about contentment lately too, as I face changes in my job.