All degrees of joy reside in the heart. How can a Christian be full of happiness (if happiness depends on the things that happen) when he is in a world where the devil is doing his best to twist souls away from God, where people are tortured physically, where some are downtrodden and do not get a chance? It would be the outcome of the most miserable selfishness to be happy under such conditions. But a joyful heart is never an insult, and joy is never touched by external conditions.
The Bible talks plentifully about joy, but it nowhere speaks about a “happy” Christian. Happiness depends on what happens; joy does not. Remember, Jesus Christ had joy, and He prays “that they might have My joy fulfilled in themselves.”
Reflection Questions: What is the ratio of joy to happiness in my life? How often do I allow circumstances to determine my mood? How often am I joyful?
Quotations taken from Biblical Psychology, © Discovery House Publishers