In fact, last year, I got into an argument with a friend because I got fed up with so many people commenting that I didn't look happy. His point was that I should be grateful for everything in my life even when I was not currently satisfied with my situation. My point was that I don't have to have a smile on my face to prove to everyone that I am filled with joy, especially early in the morning before I have had my Coke Zero. This was not a unique problem. For a lot of my life, I have been called mean, stuck up, aloof, unhappy by people who do not know me. But, those who take the time to get to know me, usually know that I am caring, generous and joyful. This time, I was offended because it was coming from a friend who knows that, depsote the look on my face, which can usually be attributed to deep thought, I am a joyful person who is nice to be around.
I am by no means a bubbly or happy-go-lucky person. However, joy fills my spirit that has nothing to do with my circumstances. I have joy because I know a Man who was willing to die to save my life. He chose me to be a part of his family and to live forever. Even though, hard times happen and I may cry or analyze situations ad nauseum, it does not affect my joy. Actually, the only things that truly affect my joy level are a lack of intimacy with God and sin in my life. My happiness is affected by much, much more.
I don't believe that to be a good Christian, you have to be happy all the time. Now, you shouldn't be whining and complaining when you have a Father who loves like God and you know that He can and will work everything in your favor. Nonetheless, life happens and sometimes, we can find ourselves feeling down, not defeated, but just down and there is nothing wrong with that, as long as when God lifts us back up, we give Him the glory and the praise. This lets others know that, "This joy that I have...the world didn't give it...the world can't take it away." The world, people, and circumstances can affect your happiness, but not your joy. Happiness is based on external, natural influences; joy is based on internal, spiritual influences. It's nice to have both, but I would rather have joy! Ms. EV