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Happiness versus Joy

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by rlvaughn, Jan 24, 2018.

  1. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn Well-Known Member
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    This morning I heard a prominent radio Bible teacher say that happiness depends on happenings, but that joy depends on Jesus. For many years I have heard variations on that theme, indicating that happiness is just a good feeling we get based on circumstances, but that joy is a deep feeling not based on circumstances (or something like that).

    Is this correct? Does the Bible make a difference in the two? Agree or disagree?

    Thanks.
     
  2. JonC

    JonC Lifelong Disciple
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    I don't see this in the Bible (Jesus told the people "happy is the meek; happy is the peacemaker; etc.") but perhaps in our culture it may be true that we see happiness as superficial and joy as abiding.
     
  3. Jerome

    Jerome Well-Known Member
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    What text was he preaching that from?
     
  4. Pastor_Bob

    Pastor_Bob Well-Known Member

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    I know a handful of times in the Old Testament and at least once in the New Testament a distinction is made between "joy" and "gladness."

    Isaiah 51:11 Therefore the redeemed of the LORD shall return, and come with singing unto Zion; and everlasting joy shall be upon their head: they shall obtain gladness and joy; and sorrow and mourning shall flee away.

    Luke 1:14 And thou shalt have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at his birth.
     
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  5. john1

    john1 New Member

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    Happiness is fleeting.
    Joy endures even when it makes no sense to be happy based on circumstances.
     
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  6. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn Well-Known Member
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    He was not preaching, but being interviewed -- so no text involved. I didn't really even catch the question; just perked up when I noticed the comment referred to in the OP.
     
  7. agedman

    agedman Well-Known Member
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    Is Joy always presented as from or to the heart?
     
  8. PastoralMusings

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    "But and if ye suffer for righteousness’ sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled;"
    1Peter 3:14

    I'd say that happiness is dependent upon Christ as well as joy. Of course I cannot truly distinguish between the two.
     
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  9. Iconoclast

    Iconoclast Well-Known Member
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    Pastor Bob,
    Would you say that joy comes from direct communion with God, The Father, Son, and Spirit where we rejoice in prayer and thankful service because God has shed His love in our hearts?
     
  10. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn Well-Known Member
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    Below are some quotes I found on the World Wide Web (not that I agree with the content).
    Obviously the words "happiness" and "joy" are two distinct words, but they have overlap in their definitions in the English language. And, of course, such a discussion is dealing with the English language, not the Hebrew or Greek. The Barclay quote above -- "Happiness is not a biblical word at all" -- makes that clear. The word "happiness" is not in the King James, for example, but it is in the New International. (In Matthew 25:23 the NIV has “Come and share your master’s happiness” where the KJV has “enter thou into the joy of thy lord.” Interestingly, chara is the same word translated "joy" in Galatians 5:22.)

    Notice that Jodi Hooper says happiness is a feeling "if something good is happening to us at that moment." Peter (or his translators) apparently didn't get that memo, writing, "But and if ye suffer for righteousness' sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled" and "If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified." (And right before that last one he wrote, "but rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy."

    In my mind, I think happiness vs. joy is probably an idea that has grown up around the use of "joy" in Galatians 5:22, coupled with a "root fallacy" concerning the words "happy" and "happiness". A quote like "happiness comes from happenings; joy comes from Jesus" sounds really good and people repeat it without a lot of thought. If we can be "happy" to suffer for righteousness' sake, these trite sayings about happiness and joy must miss the biblical mark.

    [According to Etymology.com, the meaning "pleasant and contented mental state" was attached to the word "happiness" by the 1590s.]
     
  11. Pastor_Bob

    Pastor_Bob Well-Known Member

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    I would definitely say that is a factor. Perhaps the joy comes from being able to communicate directly with God. The fact that once we make peace with God we can experience the peace of God. We are no longer servants, but sons; and, that relationship can never change. That brings joy unspeakable and full of glory (I Peter 1:8).
     
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