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A life lesson about joy from the book of Job


Do you feel joy in your life on a daily basis? What about happiness? Or do you feel that there is no difference between happiness and joy?

In the Webster dictionary, they are pretty much the same, but in the religious dictionary, there is a difference between joy and happiness. Happiness is when all is going well and joy is an inner peace that comes from our Savior and friend. For a story about joy, let’s go to the book of Job and look at Job’s life.

He had everything! He had a successful business, he had 10 healthy children, and he was happily married and had good health. That would be a case of both joy and happiness. But then things began to happen to him. First his successful business went under and that would be the beginning of unhappiness. But he considered himself still joyful because he praised God even as things began to fail. And then a terrible thing happened; a tornado hit his home, destroying his home and all his children were killed! That would be more than any of us could even begin to comprehend. His grief was beyond belief, but still he praised God. Job said, “naked I came from my mother’s womb and naked I will depart, the Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.” In the midst of deep despair and unhappiness, he praised God.

The sores from the soles of his feet to the top of his head came. More unhappiness, but still Job praised God. His friends turned against him, thinking he had sinned and was being punished for the sins, but still he praised God. And his wife turned against him. She must have been hurting; she also lost her children and she said to Job, “Curse God and die.” But still Job praised God. His praises were not for things or blessings but because the Heavenly Father was still Job’s father.

Can we even begin to understand or comprehend all the suffering that Job went through in his life? Can we begin to understand his unhappiness? But no matter what happened, still Job praised God. Could we? Job lost his children, lost his place in the community, lost his health, lost his friends, and even his wife turned from him. But still he praised God, not because of all the wonderful things that were his, which is sometimes why we praise God, but in spite of all his trouble. Everything that Job suffered, we could suffer but still Job praised God. Could we do the same? Do we praise God for our happiness, or in spite of happiness?

Let’s look to our Heavenly Father and praise Him.

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