Joy is a fruit of the spirit. It is often placed in the same category as happiness. However, make no mistake they are not the same. Happiness is what the world can give you, it is temporary and it is temperamental. There are days when we have a high dosage of happiness and there are periods when that happiness is nowhere to be found. Whereas, joy is the gift that God has given to us. It is infinite, it is constant and it gives us strength. This leads me to my favourite scripture:

“The joy of the Lord is my strength” – Nehemiah 9:10

I have always said this is my favourite scripture but I don’t think I really acknowledged the power of it until now. So let me take you on a journey with me. What is the distinction between happiness and joy?


Like most emotions the definition of happiness is subjective. Happiness to you may be contentment and satisfaction. Whereas, happiness to me may just be experiencing more positive emotions like success and fulfilment than negative emotions like anger or anxiety. However, one thing we can agree on is the fact that happiness is usually physically manifested in the presence of a smile.


Joy can be defined as a feeling of great pleasure and happiness. This is how the world defines it, and even though it doesn’t encapsulate exactly what I am trying to convey to you. The fact that it uses the terms “great” and “happiness” demonstrates that joy is a level up from happiness. (We are almost there, keep reading).


Happiness is routed in external factors. Therefore, it can be influenced by the situation we find ourselves in and the people who surround us. As a result, it is fleeting and inconsistent. For instance, if you fail an exam (happiness disappears), if a friend of yours hurt your feelings (happiness disappears) etc. However, in the case of joy. Joy is a gift from God therefore it is perfect, it is constant and it is everlasting. Additionally, in the case of joy, it is based on internal factors therefore we choose whether or not we want to activate this gift. This means that even in the situation of hardship you can still have joy. Because joy in simpler terms is:

“Happiness that is rooted in Christ” – Abi’s Take


So going back to the scripture in Nehemiah 9:10. Recognising the distinction between happiness and joy makes it all the more meaningful. This is because Nehemiah knew that his strength came from having joy in the Lord because he knew that to exercise joy in the midst of hardship, is the strongest and hardest thing to do. Not only that, he knew that joy in God was the foundation he could put his trust in and get his strength from. So my take from this is to pray for the gift of joy to be activated in my life. So that even throughout this stressful exam season or even when things don’t go according to my plan, or when it seems like mountains are crumbling around me. I will still have joy knowing that it will be well.

I’m going to leave you with the lyrics of this song that has been at the forefront of my brain for the past few hours:

I have joy in my heart, deep deep down in my heart.

Jesus gave it to me.

And no man can destroy it,

I have joy in my heart, deep deep down in my heart.


I hope this post encouraged you. And let me know in the comment section down below if you plan on praying the same prayer. Don’t forget to like, share and subscribe!

Stay tuned and stay blessed,

Abi x


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