The Difference Between Joy and Happiness And How M&Ms Can Be a Reminder

“Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. Then it was said among the nations, “The LORD has done great things for them.” (Psalm 126:2)the difference between joy and happiness can be found in M&Ms

When I was in high school, I lived next door to the M&M plant in Hacketstown, NJ. Loving M&M’s it was a great place to live. When I went off to college, I took a jar of M&Ms with me. And the jar soon was full of “Joy Pills” — green and yellow M&Ms. Why were they called “joy pills”? Because whenever you eat M&Ms you smile!

My dorm-mates would drop by and take a few “joy pills” when they needed some encouragement. Since college, I’ve kept up the tradition of having the same jar filled with M&Ms (either green and/or yellow).

Today, I knocked over the jar and green M&Ms went everywhere. As I tried to sweep up the M&Ms they just rolled away. They rolled under the heat vent, the shelving. . . everywhere. Just when I thought I had gotten them all I’d see another one. As I stood there looking at the M&Ms all over the floor, I smiled.

I had spilled my ‘Joy’— but God got my attention!

God’s joy is not based on circumstances. It’s not based on what we have, or don’t have. Joy is not based on how we feel, or what is happening in our lives. Joy is not about us. Rather, pure joy is based on an unchanging God, who loves with an unconditional love.

I’m going through medication withdraw, as I prepare for a new treatment to lower my pain. There is NO reason I should be experiencing joy right now. The pain is unbearable. I’m dizzy and have a terrible headache. My body is wanting medication, but the medication I can give it has it’s own side effects. Yet in the midst of my circumstances, I have joy!

Since the joy God provides, is not based on our emotions (which change on a whim), we can enjoy JOY twenty-four hours, seven days a week, no matter our circumstances. There is a significant difference between happiness and joy. We can celebrate joy in the midst of any circumstance knowing that God is in control and He is at work in our lives.

Prayer: Lord, help me to see these little moments of pure joy in my life whatever way you send them. Even the “messes” we make can become little reminders of joy if we have the right perspective.

About the Author:
Rhonda Sawtelle lives with chronic headaches and pain due to failed back surgery syndrome. Her philosophy is “Create a positive day!” She enjoys watching football, digital scrapbooking, and reading. To read more about how Rhonda creates a positive day, even while living with pain, visit her blog:

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