Christian joy differs from happiness in that it's not a feeling based on pleasure, success, possessions, or circumstances; but rather it comes from faith in Christ and trust in His promises.
This joy isn't something we can choose to put on like a piece of clothing, but it's a fruit of the Spirit and as such it comes from God. In order for this fruit to flourish and grow in our lives we must "abide in the vine" and walk daily with our Lord.
Having the "joy of the Lord" doesn't mean we go about with an inane grin on our face, refusing to face bad circumstances, and exhibiting a "put-on happiness" in the midst of sorrow. Christians shed tears, are brought low with grief, and are sometimes crushed under sorrow just like anyone else in the world. It seems to me that joy is hard to separate from hope and peace -- they seem intertwined in that they work together to keep the child of God from being completely overwhelmed with despair and hopelessness. However, that's not to say that saints never struggle with depression or black days....just read some of the heart-wrenching prayers recorded for us in the Psalms!
One thing I've discovered in my life is that the smallest of pleasures are so much more meaningful when I'm walking close to Jesus while the biggest of delights are empty without Him.
For this layout I used some pretty stickers I found at Dollar Tree. On the back of my "lift-the-flap" label I included this quote from C.S. Lewis ---- "We are half hearted creatures fooling around with drink, sex, and ambition when infinite joy is offered us. Like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he can't imagine what is meant by a vacation at the ocean. We are far too easily pleased."
Supplies and Tools:
- 100 Days of Grace and Gratitude Devotional Journal
- Dollar Tree Stickers
- Botanical Ephemera (Tim Holtz)
- Lattice Embossing Folder (Creative Expressions)
- Labels 10 Nestabilities (Spellbinders)
- Embroidery Deep Edge Punch (Martha Stewart)
- Endless Love Sizzix Alphabet Dies
Word Art Wednesday - Anything Goes