We all want to live happy lives. ‘Happiness,’ wrote Aristotle, ‘is the meaning and purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence.’ But there is something even better, greater and deeper than happiness. Happiness is dependent on what happens – our circumstances. Joy is far deeper and is not so dependent on our outward circumstances. It is a blessing from God. Joy was the characteristic of an encounter with Jesus even in his mother’s womb (Luke 1:44).

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