Joy or Happiness: do I recognize it?

I often hear and use the words “joy” and “happiness” interchangeably. But today I’m asking myself if I know the difference. Do I recognize joy for the deep abiding sense it is? Do I see happiness as the more circumstantial feeling that it is?

I know that Scripture tells us that joy and peace will result in overflowing hope. (Romans 15:13) I also know so much more about God and His character when I look at and meditate on the word “joy.” Hebrews 12:2 says that “for the joy that lay before Him endured a cross…”  Jesus chose joy and endured the cross for it. The sacrifice He made was filled with joy because it results in us being reunified with Him.

This Christmas season I have that deep abiding joy from Him. I know His love, His hope, His peace and His joy. It comes from trusting Him, believing Him, and knowing Him. It does not come from the most productive day I’ve ever had, getting all the household chores done, the kids having a good day at school, or even from their sweet snuggles and “I love you’s.”

My joy comes from Him and it is with me when happiness is not. When we face challenges, insurmountable obstacles, the greatest adventures, highest moments and in the most destitute and discouraging ones I have joy because I have Him.

Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you believe in Him so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13

My joy is Jesus. Happiness is a wonderful emotion, but it is fleeting. Joy is abiding, sustaining, and consuming. Jesus said, “I am the Light of the World. Anyone who follows Me will never walk in the darkness but will have the light of life.” John 8:12 I have His Light and Love, and therefore I am joy-filled.


This entry in my Illustrating Bible I kept pretty simple. I wanted the message clear and the design simple and pure. I used some festive colors and the fun Christmas trees to remind myself it was in the advent season. The goodies I used can be found at DaySpring so feel free to shop my affiliate links here.

All Advent goodies here.
Acrylic evergreen tree stamp set here.
Advent stickers I used here.
Other basics here like the Illustrated Faith pen, black and white washi, and alpha stickers.

I’d love to have you join in this adventure of learning more about Him and His promises through Bible Journaling. So join us, follow along with PNW Bible Journaling on Facebook or Instagram. If you’d like to grab the January kit by Dayspring here you can join in with exactly what I’ll be working through in the upcoming first days of 2019. Thanks for shopping my affiliate links as it directly supports supplies and resources for our local meetups.

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