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  • Writer's picture~Kimberly Oden

Happiness is Founded on Happenings, but True Joy is Grace Recognized

This is the 1st holiday season I feel sorrow. Like not just a passing disappointment, but a deep grieving within. Each time someone asks how Thanksgiving was, a new-found empathy for the hurting arises. Thanksgiving was AMAZING as we spent it with close friends & at the same time, my heart ached that our entire family wasn’t together.

I recently spoke with a young gal about this & she said, “It reminds me about the difference between happiness & joy. My grandma used to say {something like}, ‘Happiness is founded on happenings, but joy, true joy is everlasting.’”

So amazing, right?

Today, I read a verse that penned the deepest desire of my heart:

“I could have no greater joy than to hear that my children are following the truth.”

The word “joy” comes from a root word that means, “grace recognized.” It’s the discerning awareness of God’s grace & favor, & thus, our Source of joy.

Psalm 126:5-6 were cornerstone parenting promises for me. Every time a hardship would arise, I’d remind myself that, “those who plant in tears will harvest with shouts of joy.”

Planting seeds is trying work & waiting for the harvest can feel like eternity. But when it’s harvest time? Farmers work with shouts of joy from sun up to sun down to gather every last bit.

What do you do when the harvest is long in the making? The rest of the verse acknowledges this- they weep as they plant their seed, but weeping must not hinder the sowing, nor does it deter us from joy.

Why? Because true joy isn’t based on circumstantial happenings. Joy is the deep recognition that we all deserve death & it’s only by God’s grace that salvation is ours!

When we remember the Source of our joy, we’re reminded of the foundational why behind our call to plant. We may weep as we go, but Jesus said, “blessed are those that mourn for they shall be comforted.”

Father, the beginnings of Your mercy & grace encourage us to pray for the completion of them! We may weep as we plant the seed & feel sorrow as we await the harvest of healing or provision, but our joy is found in the fullness of Your Presence. We seek Your face & praise You that regardless of WHAT we face, we choose to face You, our Source of joy!!

💡HOSEA 6:1-9:17

💡3 JOHN 1:1-15

💡PSALM 126:1-6

💡PROVERBS 29:12-14

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