The prophet Nehemiah proclaims, “the joy of the Lord”—rather than the happiness—“is your strength” (Nehemiah 8:10).
Happiness is directly connected to what is happening around us. Happiness is fleeting, temporal. Joy, however, is everlasting. The joy that is found in God’s presence does not fade away.
Happiness is like the morning dew. It’s sweet and refreshing, yet it quickly evaporates under the scorching heat of grief, betrayal, and devastation. Joy remains after happiness has left the building. Happiness comes for the party. Joy stays to help you clean up the mess.
This message is an excerpt from “Midnight joy” by Angela T. Khabeb in the November 2019 issue of Gather magazine. Today we remember Perpetua and Felicity and companions, martyrs at Carthage, who died in 202.