Toisenlaista iloa – A different kind of Joy


Today, there is a lot of talk about happiness. Fortunately, the topic has also been studied a lot, and therefore we know how to influence our own happiness. Positive emotions, good relationships, achievement, and, for example, volunteer work, among other things, seem to increase happiness.

The Bible also talks about happiness, but it is interesting that the opposite of happiness, unhappiness, in different forms of the word appears many times more often in the Bible. Perhaps one of the reasons for this is precisely that both happiness and unhappiness are often the result of something. They seem to depend on the person or the circumstances.

Instead of happiness, the Bible talks a lot about joy (473 times). Joy can also be the result of something, for example, good food, the birth of a child, or getting married. Joy is also a feeling. In the Bible, these topics of joy and feelings of joy are described a lot, but above all, they talk about the source of joy, God. “In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name.” (Ps. 33:21) ” God, my joy and my delight.” (Ps. 43:4).

Joy in the Bible is not tied to circumstances, feelings, or cause and effect, but the source of joy is in the eternal God. Joy is a result of the connection with God. Jesus, the Savior, is God’s good news for all people. “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.” (Luke 2:10).

And what to do if you feel that there is no joy in life? It is certainly familiar to most of us. The Bible encourages us to rejoice, even if it doesn’t always feel like it. “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” (Phil. 4:4). Of course, it is good to remember that, for example, grief has its own time and function. All Christians are encouraged to live together: “Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.” (Romans 12:15).

There is a source of joy in God’s word, and joy can also be prayed and asked: “Bring joy to your servant, Lord, for I put my trust in you.” (Ps. 86:4).

Wishing you a joy-filled summer,
Pastor Timo

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June – August 2024 Newsletter – Ystäväkirje Website version