Are Happiness, Joy and Contentment unreachable goals?
What are they and how are they defined? Often considered synonyms, they do have nuances of difference.
- Happiness: The overall statement that contains elements of joy and contentment but based most accurately on circumstantial happenings that occur outside our bodies creating an inward state. Could be in a range of great joy and excitement to peaceful satisfaction and contentment.
- Joy: Great delight or happiness in something exceptionally satisfying.
- Contentment: a peaceful satisfaction, freedom from worry, being at ease in one?s situation.
How they are reached and sustained? When you read the above definitions to these similar words, could you find yourself saying, ?This one is me??
In scripture, ?happy? is used only in the Old Testament. Leah was happy when she gave birth to Asher (Genesis 30:13), newly married men were happy because they didn?t have to go to the army or serve publically for a year (Deuteronomy 24:5) or the happiest of people, the Israelites, who were often saved by the LORD, who was their shield of help and sword of triumph (Deuteronomy 33:29). Joy is often expressed outwardly. In the Old Testament, it resulted in dancing, feasting, rejoicing, praising and even the earth was split with their joy (1 Kings 1:40).
In the New Testament, the word, joy, is shown to be an inward condition. ?These things I have spoken to you that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.? (John 15:11) Hearts that are full, rejoice (John 16:22). And ?the disciples were filled with joy and the Holy Spirit.? (Acts 13:52) The Holy Spirit fills us with joy. That security in knowing Christ is evidenced by the Holy Spirit as one of the fruits: joy. Joy is there in the best of times and the worst of times, because He resides in those who believe.
Contentment and sufficiency are often used interchangeably. Sufficiency is a wonderful word as it describes the state of the mind and spirit: sufficient. His grace is sufficient for me; He supplies all my needs. What I have is enough, and I am content to rest in God?s love and direction. Paul stated, ?For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.? (2 Corinthians 12:10) and again; Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.? (Philippians 4:11)
So can we be full of happiness, joyfulness, and contentment? Absolutely. It would be an expected result with the believer as he/she has so much to be happy, joyful and content about. If you are not filled with happiness, joy, or contentment, you may want to read this gospel tract, ?Safety, Certainty and Enjoyment? at this website link: http://westerntractmission.org/T/F/SafetyCertaintyEnjoyment.shtml.
Why waste a day when you can be filled with joy?! Such blessings and healing will come from your walk with the Lord.
He is my everything.