Difference Between Happiness and Joy

Frances Brown, Filled with Joy

See this lady’s smile? Lights up the room, doesn’t it? Certainly that’s the first thing I noticed when I entered the Georgia Department of Labor building in Athens, GA a couple of weeks ago. From the minute I spotted Frances Brown from 100 feet away, her smile captivated me. We got acquainted, chatted briefly, and she showed me the room where I would be speaking to the Athens Employers Committee.

When the attendees started arriving, Frances joined the audience, much to my delight. My presentation topic: “Always Push the Up Button: How to Stay Highly Motivated–Every Day.” For thirty minutes I described my personal strategies for maintaining motivation, even during very challenging times. Then I asked the participants to share their keys to remaining upbeat.

Frances was one who responded to my invitation. She told us there is a distinct difference between happiness and joy. From her experience, she knew that happiness could be temporary, depending on our circumstances. When life is going smoothly, we’ll be happy, but when hard times hit us, happiness disappears.

On the other hand, joy is permanent. Joy rises above and beyond our circumstances–and stays there.

Let’s turn to Frances’ exact words, which reveal her faith-based conviction:

“The POWER of JOY versus HAPPINESS.”

“HAPPINESS is determined by whatever situation is going on in your life at the time but JOY comes from within and being connected to the LORD. JOY is the inner PEACE with GOD no matter what the situation. JOY lets you know who you are and whose you are in times of trouble no matter if the situation is good or bad.”

Wow! No wonder Frances displays a radiant smile throughout the day. As you can imagine, her words lifted everyone in the room, including me.

I’m grateful to Frances Brown for granting permission to publish her dynamic definition. I’m sure you are grateful as well.

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