Misfit Words

By Katie Pippuswords

I love words! I love learning new words! I love coming across new words as I’m
reading and then trying to guess the definition before I look it up. I was attempting to look up a new word the other night and my phone auto-corrected the word I wanted and replaced it with “joy”. Without realizing what had happened, I hit search.

joy: (noun, /joi/) 
a feeling of great pleasure and happiness.
“tears of joy”

The definition was unremarkable. If I had been asked to define joy, my definition would have been similar to this. But what caught my eye was the list of synonyms that were listed below. Words like delight, charm, frolic, hilarity, and merriment all fit into my preconceived perception of what joy looks like. But there were also words in the list that I never would have said were interchangeable with the word joy. Words like comfort, solace, refreshment, luxury, alleviation. Based on the definition that I had just read, these words felt random and out of place. The problem wasn’t the misfit words, but my limited understanding of the complexity of joy.

Joy is more than just a happy feeling. It is a gift from God to be enjoyed not only during the good times when you feel like frolicking, laughing, and smiling. Joy can also be found in those moments when you feel anything but joyful. Joy is meant to be experienced and found in different ways and places throughout our lives.

Joy is…..

  • comfort (kuhm-fert) noun: relief in affliction; consolation
  • solace (sol-is) noun: comfort in sorrow, misfortune, or trouble
  • refresh (ri-fresh) verb: to provide new vigor and energy by rest etc.
  • luxury (luhk-shuh-ree) noun: enjoyment of comforts and pleasures in addition to those necessary for a reasonable standard of well-being
  • alleviation (uh-lee-vee-ey-shuh n)to make easier to endure; lessen; mitigate

The true power of joy is revealed when we start seeking and seeing joy as more than a shallow feeling of pleasure, but as a constant companion that helps us through when we see it as the misfit words in the synonym list. In Hebrews 12:2 it says, “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame and sat down at the right hand of God”. The joy that He was focused on gave him comfort, refreshment, and alleviation as He faced death on the cross. If joy was powerful enough to help Him through His suffering, how much more could seeking joy in each day change our lives.

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13 NIV

1 Comment

  1. Velma on February 27, 2016 at 8:37 pm

    Wow Katie, WOW!! Thank you for that insight.

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