Joy and Happiness

I’ve been thinking about the difference between joy and happiness lately. The two words are used interchangeably, but they don’t mean the same thing.

Happiness is about me. It depends on other people and situations, how they affect me, and how they make me feel.

Joy is about God. It is not dependent on other people or circumstances. Joy is deep contentment found through faith and a relationship with God.

Happiness is superficial and temporary.

Joy runs deep. Joy is rooted in God and cannot be taken away…but it can be threatened. By joy robbers.

Joy robbers are people who not only hurt our feelings, but it feels as if they hurt our heart too.

Joy robbers are the nasty comments meant to knock us off our feet…the people who put others down in order to feel better about themselves.

They threaten to take our joy away, but we don’t have to let them succeed because the power of what someone else says or thinks of us is never more important than who God says we are. 

The power of what someone else says or thinks of us is never more important than who God says we are.

Once we see that for what it is, then we can make a choice. We can choose joy.

Of course, we’re not immune to the pain caused by someone’s nasty comments (especially when they are from someone close to us), but we have a choice. We can choose their opinion, or we can choose God’s opinion.

God’s opinion means infinitely more and leads to joy.

Our own emotions can be joy robbers—emotions that get the better of us, like fear, worry, anger, jealously, envy…. They threaten our joy because these emotions center on us, not God. If we don’t make a choice, they can control us.

Instead of letting our emotions consume us, we can make the choice. We can choose joy.

How? By keeping our focus on who God is, and who He says we are.

The opinions of others change. God’s opinion does not change. He is constant in our ever-changing daily life. {Tweet this}

Choose joy.


If you are reading Fulfilled by Danise Jurado, we are in our 5th week of the study with Chapter 8—Perseverance, Chapter 9—Joy, and Chapter 10—Hope.

How do you persevere through times of struggle? How do you keep from losing your joy and hope?

In Christ,


  1. Your words about joy running deep and being rooted in God reminds me of Psalm 1, the tree planted beside a stream. Your phrase "Joy is a choice" leads me back to the tree that was planted, intentionally put there--a choice.
    your neighbor at Lyli's

  2. I love how you wrote "joy is rooted in God". I'm going to say that sentence over and over and allow it to sink in. Thank you for sharing!

  3. I have written about this very topic a couple of times and we are on the same page with it... Huge difference in joy vs happiness. (And I wish the former in abundance for you, dear Laura.)

    PS: Still praying for your regularly via the sticky note on my prayer closet wall.

  4. Great post, Laura! There is a difference between joy and happiness. And when we have been hurt, choosing God's love for us will begin to restore His joy in our hearts. Wise words here.
    I was next to you as "Give Me Grace."


Thank you for sharing your thoughts!