Happiness and Joy: Are They Identical?


“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines
the course of your life.” ~ Proverbs 4:23

Happiness is not the same as joy.

Young African American woman thankful, horizontal

Fotolia File: #55371512 | Author: Burlingham

Happiness depends on circumstances. Joy is above circumstances.

Happiness is like a roller-coaster going up and down, even by the moment.  Joy is like a deep well that never runs dry.

Happiness is external. Joy is internal.

Happiness comes from what happens to me. Joy comes from Yeshua the Messiah Who lives in me. 

Though the fig tree does not bud
and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen
and no cattle in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
I will be joyful in God my Savior.

         ` ~ Habakkuk 3:17-18

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(Craft) The Two Conflicts

2Stories that grip the heart often focus on two levels of conflict: internal and external.  The external conflict comes from forces outside the character. The internal conflict stems from forces within the character, usually experiences from the character’s past.

 The “two conflicts”, as I like to call them, engage in a dramatic dance throughout your story, moving your characters through your plot via tension, climax, and resolution. 

Both the internal and the external conflicts work hand in hand, one feeding off the other.  Yet, each is a separate story line in and of itself. But when the internal and external conflicts are intertwined in the fictional dream, the mathematical truism applies:  the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. 

When writing your story, create an external conflict for your character that will maximize his internal conflict, and vice versa.  Give equal weight to each conflict, realizing, however, that the internal drives the external every time.

Photo Source: Microsoft Clipart