Which comes 1st?
Can we have one without the other?
comes from good happenings in our life.
comes from recognizing God’s Process in our life.
can(will!) sustain us – NO MATTER what’s happening around us
If U’re old enough(like me) U’ll remember the song – “Love”n Marriage… Go together like a horse’n carriage… U can’t have one without the other…” (Frank Sinatra)
It IS possible to have happiness without joy, joy without happiness.
I’ve certainly been known to confuse one for the other.
In the U.S.A., we have the constitutional “right to pursue happiness”. However, there’s no guarantee of finding it. Joy wasn’t even mentioned.
I’ve been attending Celebrate Recovery for almost 6 years. The common practice is to introduce ourselves: “Hi, my name is ‘Jim’. I’m a GRATEFUL believer in Jesus who struggles with…. ________ fillintheblank. Some Monday nights, it was easy to say “I’m grateful” Other nights, those words seemed to get stuck someplace beneath my tonsils. I finally began to realize I was measuring my gratefulness by my happiness. I was measuring my happiness by the good/bad happenings in my life.
NewsFlash: It wasn’t the good/nice things in my life that brought me to CR. It was the painful things. The out-of-control things. In CR language, it was the hurts, habits and gangups. Oops, that’s s’pose to be hangups! But actually, come to think of it, it was when the painful things outweighed the “blessings” that I looked for help. So yeah, I guess it did “gangup” on me.
It took me a long time to begin to recognize that the dark place was a gift. It took me longer to be grateful for the pain. It took even longer to acknowledge that God was using those things that had been ganging up on me to change me.
It’s been a PROCESS! A Process that has brought me more JOY than I knew existed.
I was pursuing happiness (I had a guaranteed legal right to do that) but what I discovered was JOY! I had the cart B4 the horse, or I had my carriage hitched to a goat,
or I was just pulling a broken wheel through the dirt, round’n round in circles.
I finally picked up the pieces of my mess and surrendered. Today, I gladly declare: I AM a GRATEFUL believer in Jesus. My life is not the mess it was. I am in Process – and will be as long as I live on this planet.
Now, the Q becomes: …If(since) I’m blessed, and grateful for it,
how can I in turn share that blessing with Others?
Happiness is quantified and only momentary. It is unfortunately very fleeting and leaves one often caught up in some confused collateral pursuits.
The pursuit of happiness can corrupt and cloud a persons “spiritual eyes” with avarice, lust, and idoalatry. Can we say it is almost a :”gateway” to negative experiences/results when we put the desired outcome…our happiness…in an all or nothing category?. We must always temper our expectations and focus our motives around those suggested by The Holy Spirit.
But with Joy, as brought about in sublime splendor when in communion with the Spirit, a “happiness” of longsuffering, uncommon compassion, and unconditional Love pervades. It is the natural state of supenaturally transformed. This element that sets these two apart for me.
Thanks for another provacative post.
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