Your Ticket to Joy

Your Ticket to Joy

Stasi EldredgeBy Stasi Eldredge4 Minutes

In this crazy world, we find ourselves living in, the prospect of experiencing joy often seems out of reach. To have joy in the midst of sorrow can feel impossible when your never-ending news feed is packed with photos of happy, smiling people enjoying their date night or vacation.

But joy is meant to be ours, and it’s a joy that stands defiant in the face of this broken world. In every situation, our hearts are to echo the heartbeat of our joyous God.

Circumstantial Happiness

Often we confuse joy with happiness. I’m happy when I wake up and realize it’s not Monday, but Saturday – I have a day off! I’m happy when someone brings me a cup of coffee. I’m happy when I get a birthday card.

In contrast, I’m sad when a vacation is over. I’m sad when I mishandle the heart of a friend. I’m sad when no one remembers my birthday.

Don’t get me wrong. I love being happy. But happiness is unpredictable. It feels vulnerable because it’s tied to my circumstances, which are constantly changing.

Do you know what I mean? One day you’re up, but the next day you’re down.

Joy Rooted in God’s Presence

True joy is firmer, richer, and less vulnerable than happiness. I’m happy when my family goes out for ice cream, but it would seem a little overblown to say I’m filled with joy because of it.

But I was joyful at all three of my sons’ weddings. I also was filled with joy over the birth of our granddaughters. And joy flooded my heart when a dear friend was cleared of cancer. I don’t think it was mere happiness, for my joy felt rooted in the very presence of God.

Joy is not happiness on steroids. It is something entirely different, made up of its own unique substance. Joy is connected to God and reserved for those who are tapping into His reservoir, who are connected to His life.

Joy is rooted in God and His Kingdom, in the surety of His goodness and His love for us. It is immovable. Unshakeable. It is available at all times, day and night, because God and His Kingdom are always available to us.

The Heartbeat of Heaven

I’m ready to get off the roller coaster of happiness and have my heart grounded in the higher place of joy. I bet you are too.

Who among us doesn’t want more joy in their life? In their work? In their marriage? In their relationships? With their children? In their quiet moments alone? If joy is a fruit of the Spirit (and it is), then we are meant to experience it and enjoy it, regardless of our circumstances.

I’m convinced that joy is the heartbeat of Heaven, the very light that emanates from Jesus’ heart. This means as we grow closer in relationship with God, we’ll also grow in our joy. We’ll see that He’s not spending time anxiously wringing His hands, as we are sometimes prone to do.

Our Father’s joy is never up for grabs. Rather, His joy is unchangeable, just as He Himself is. It’s an essential part of His very person.

So I want to be rooted and grounded in joy. That’s what I believe God is calling you to experience as well. Will you give yourself permission to enter into His joy today?