There’s a saying that money can’t buy happiness. I disagree.

I feel that we have lost the definition of happiness and joy. Happiness is something that is temporary and can be achieved and fulfilled by things of the flesh. Money, a new job, and a new car are examples of things that can provide you with happiness. But those things will only make you happy for a short time. They will only satisfy that thirst you have for a moment, but joy is something that can only be attained through Jesus and knowing that you are going to get through whatever you are facing because you know you do not walk alone.

The Samaritan woman said to him, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a woman of Samaria?” Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.” The woman said to him, “Sir, you have nothing to draw water with, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob? He gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did his sons and his livestock.” Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I will not be thirsty or have to come here to draw water.”
— John 4:9–15

At this time, it was very uncommon for Jews and Samaritans to even talk to one another, never less help one another. So when Jesus comes up to this lady, she’s rightfully very confused. One of the things I try to do when analyzing a passage is to put myself in the shoes of the people in the story. If you were to put yourself in the shoes of the Samaritan woman here, what would your reaction be? I know what mine would be. I would be thinking, “Is this guy crazy or what?!” He then uses the water he is seeking as an example of the goodness of God. That feeling of your thirst being quenched is what joy feels like. It’s like being a kid again and getting back inside after a long day outside in the summer and finally getting that cold drink of water. Jesus says that when he is the source of our life, we will never thirst for anything but him.

This woman understood something I think we all can use in our lives: joy lasts while happiness passes. Joy is a way of life and a way to think, where happiness is an emotion that changes from day to day. When you have joy, that is not something that is lost easily. Joy is when you have the source. Happiness is merely a drink of water. So, do you know the source? My challenge to you this week is to find what your source is because it determines your end product.