by Joni Eareckson Tada
"But may the righteous be glad and rejoice before God; may they be happy and joyful." Psalm 68:3
诗篇68:3 惟有义人必然欢喜，在 神面前高兴快乐。
We're often taught to be careful of the difference between joy and happiness. Happiness, it is said, is an emotion that depends upon what 'happens.' Joy by contrast, is supposed to be enduring持久的, stemming遏止 deep from within our soul and which is not affected by the circumstances surrounding us.
It's an appropriate适当的 linguistic语言 distinction区别, I suppose. But I don't think God had any such hair-splitting吹毛求疵的 in mind. Scripture uses the terms interchangeably可交换地 along with words like delight, gladness, blessed. There is no scale of没有规模 relative spiritual values applied to any of these. Happiness is not relegated降级 to fleshly-minded sinners nor joy to heaven-bound saints.
The terms are synonymous同义词的 in their effect and too difficult to distinguish 区分when we experience either one. Would you, for example, respond to the wedding of your daughter with joy or with happiness? Are you happy that your friend came to know Christ or are you joyful? Is the moment of euphoric欣快 delight in worship of Him on Sunday morning just a happenstance偶然 or just as much a part of Jesus' promise regarding our redeemed souls?
To rob joy of its elated兴高采烈的 twin, happiness, is to deprive剥夺 our soul of God's feast. Seek both as part and parcel包裹 in all circumstances. When your soul is stirred by a deep contentment, be happy. When a delightful moment strikes that is quite outside yourself, be joyful. Don't think about which one you are supposed to feel. Accept them both as a gift from a God who is rich in all such emotions.
Lord, I seek the blessing of a joyful heart, the gladness of a happy countenance面容, and the delight of Your eternal pleasure today.
Joni and Friends