What’s the difference between joy and happiness?  I frequently hear people say… I just want to be happy!  I also fell into this trap, and didn’t shout from the mountaintops – I just want to be Joy!   Happiness is a direct response to something in our lives.  A baby cries, it gets fed or changed.  A teenager gets a cell phone and has more freedom.   An adult buys an expensive car to show others he’s a success.  Until you arrive to a new awakened state where you know Joy is not a direct response to anything that happens in your life, you will continue to let happiness rule you.

Joy is not found in our unstable emotions, nor is it easy to get to that state with society today.  Being joyful means when you’re walking in the valley of life, you can still have peace during those times of great sorrow, strife, and uncertainty.  How?  Each and everyday, I either say to myself or write in my gratitude journal, all the things that I’m grateful for that day.  When you are grateful even in the mist of the valley, something amazing and transforming happens.  You realize nothing on this earth will make you happy, you understand that family, friends, and people are the most important thing, and you embrace what happens to you.  Good and bad.  When you embrace life, stay grateful, and positive you will look back on your life and see how all the pieces fit.  You will realize that Joy instead of happiness is the anchor of your soul.

Already there song by Casting Crowns…sends a message of peace.   His grand design is a masterpiece of his perfect plan.