Have you ever felt “happy” to only find that within a matter of minutes, the day “tanked?”
One phone call, one text, one email, one exchange with another human being . . . bad news, a difficult situation to face, harsh words were spoken. . . and the feeling of happiness gave way to sadness, uncertainty, anger, or fear?
Whether we know it or not . . . happiness is happenstance.
Happenstance is a circumstance that happens purely due to chance.
The root word of happiness is “hap” and it means chance.
Human happiness is dependent on chances and changes of life. It is something that life may give . . . and also something that life may destroy.
BUT . . . JOY is different!
In the beatitudes, when Jesus used the word “blessed,” he was referring to something so much larger than happiness . . . he was describing JOY.
Blessed would have been spoken like – “Oh the joy of those . . .”
This joy was and is serene . . . untouchable . . . self-contained. . . and independent of all the chances and changes of life.
If we will hear those statements of Jesus . . . “oh the joy of those who are meek, mourn, hunger for righteousness, pure in heart” etc., we will experience a joy that really is untouchable and unassailable.
This is a joy that sees us THROUGH our pain.
Sorrow, loss, pain, and grief are powerless over us.
This joy shines through our tears.
This is a joy in which nothing in life or death can take it away.
This joy we find in Christ is not a wistful glimpse of a future beauty . . . it is a bliss for permanent joy that nothing can take away. It just takes a few changes on our parts.