Joy is to abound the entire Hebrew month of Adar…. and this year because it’s a leap year we get 2 months of Adar… double the joy! Joy is not happiness… they are vastly different words!
Words are powerful. I’m one of those mom’s who is constantly correcting her kids on their grammar as well as the words they use. I ask them “is that really what you mean to say?” Proverbs 18:21 in the New Living Translations says “The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences.” Since I am definitely one who LOVES to talk, I want to make sure that I’m reaping good consequences. That’s why I love studying words in English, Latin, Greek and Hebrew… really digging out the meanings. So that I know exactly what I’m saying. Choosing joy this month is much easier if I know the difference between joy and happiness.
Happiness is from the Middle English word meaning “hap” or “chance”… based on outward happenstances. Joy comes from the Middle English from the French Anglo word “joie” meaning rejoice! I love that! The Apostle Paul thought it was so important to rejoice that he felt the need to repeat it twice… “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!”. Infact, Paul talks about joy at least 16 times in the 4 chapters of Phillipians. King David also exhorts us to serve the Lord with joy… Psalm 100:2 “Serve the LORD with joy. Come before him with a joyful shout!” This exhortation wasn’t borne out of “happy” circumstances… he was at the time hiding in a cave, exiled from his throne, having barely escaped from the murderous intentions of his power-hungry son Absalom. What a rough set of circumstances! And yet David chose this moment to compose a psalm of rejoicing.
Joy is a deep down confidence that all is well, no matter what the circumstance, no matter what the difficulty, no matter what the problem. Jewish sages have a saying, “simcha poritz geder” — joy breaks all barriers. Joy is a gift from God… Psalm 4:7 says Thou hast put joy in my heart” The Greek word for “joy” is chara (χαρὰ), a word related to “grace” (χάρις). There is grace for joy available for us.. we need only spend time in His presence to be full of joy (Ps 16:11).
Today rejoice…. choose joy whether your circumstances are joyful or not….get into His presence and let Him fill you with His joy (Ps 16:11))… let it strengthen you (Neh 8:10), causing you to superabound with hope (Rom 15:13) and that joy will breakdown any barriers in your life. I recently read a wonderful definition for joy: joy is the flag that flies on the castle of the heart when the King is in residence there.