Jimmy’s Table PodcastCuriously evangelical. Politically homeless. A dreamer of small things. On this podcast, I am having conversations about the intersection of faith, life, and culture.

The Gift Of Joy – Episode #131

Shepherds In A Field

The Christmas holiday season can be hard. Our sense of joy is threatened by things that grieve us. In this podcast, I talk about joy, how it differs from happiness, and how joy is a gift from God by which we can fight back against the dark forces that threaten our existence…

The State Of Joy

Joy is an characteristic of God. It is an eternal attribute of who God is in and of Himself. And as beings created in His image and likeness, we have been given the gift of joy. This joy exists in us as part of our humanity.

Fundamentally joy is a state of internal inner delight. God has this inner delight within Himself, and it’s something He shares with us. Joy is God’s gift to humanity.

Happiness vs Joy

The words joy and happiness can often be used interchangeably. And rightfully so. Sometimes it’s hard to tell where one ends and the other begins.

However, if you’ve lived long enough you’ll probably have discovered a secret in life. Happiness is grounded in our circumstances. It’s fickle and comes and goes based on whether or not we are doing things we enjoy, like eating tacos, having fun with family, or our favorite sports team winning an important game.

But we aren’t always happy. Sometimes we suffer great loss. Our external circumstances change. Life gets hard, and sometimes we experience great devastations that threaten to wipe us out.

However, happiness differs in joy. Happiness is based on our external circumstances. Joy can exist even when happiness does not, as joy is an eternal attribute of God that we have the ability to participate, even when times are tough, and down right terrible.

While joy can be suffocated and diminished in us, I’ve discovered in the darkest hours of my life that joy can still be found. Finding it’s not always easy. But it’s still there. You might have to hit rock bottom to find it. You might have to brave looking into the darkest of nights to find it.

But we can be brave and look into the abyss. For if we look long enough at that which terrifies us, joy is there, waiting to be found.

Joy Fights Back

And that joy will become a source of strength by which you use it to combat the forces of darkness that surround you.

Joy is the light that helps you fight back and vanquish the powers of darkness as they threaten to overtake you. Joy is what helps us rediscover purpose and to rebuild our lives even in the midst of ruins.

The joy of the Lord is my strength.

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