The Wonder of Joy

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Over the years I have met so many people who are blessed in every area of life but, at the same time, state they are miserable.  They do not have to worry about finances.   They enjoy good health and loving relationships.   They live in safe and secure environments that are filled with everything anyone could want.   Yet they are miserable!

On the other hand, I have also met many people who have very little and yet they are filled with joy.   Some struggle with health issues.  Others have nothing materialistically.  They might not have career options and don’t even know where their next meal will come from.   From the outside, it would seem that they have very little going for them.  Yet they are filled with joy!

Christmas is a Christian celebration and throughout the month of December individuals throughout the whole world tend to talk about joy, peace and love.   I thought it would be interesting to do an internet search asking for a definition of the word “joy” and whether it is an emotion.  The response written by healthpsychology.com is one that invites serious thought.

Joy is an attitude or a belief, which soothes even in the most sorrowful of situations. Joy comes from within; it is an internal view. Joy in the Biblical context, is not an emotion. It is not based on something positive happening in life but is an attitude of the heart or spirit.

I believe that joy is different from happiness as it is deeper and does not depend on things that are beyond our control.  Instead it is part of our core identity that involves thankfulness, living in the moment and embracing hope despite what is going on around us.

When we are experiencing joy, we are focused on positive things in our lives and not on the multiple negatives of the world that threaten to distract us.  It is about being content and free from fear.

Think of some of the times in life when you have felt joy.   What was happening at that time?   Was the world perfect?   Absolutely not.   Was everything in your life perfect right then?   Likely not. 

The joy you were feeling likely had to do with an inner peace that inspired hope and emotional rest despite what was going on in the world.

Joy is an amazing word, and it is no wonder that we think about it during the festive time.  For Christmas offers us an opportunity to focus on the reason for this season and the hope that it offers us for the future.

May your life be filled with joy – today and every day of the year!


Dr. Linda Hancock, the author of “Life is An Adventure…every step of the way” and “Open for Business Success” is a Registered Psychologist who has a private practice in Medicine Hat. She can be reached at 403-529-6877 or through email office@drlindahancock.com


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