joy

Is Joy the Same as Happiness? 10 Things to Know about This Fruit of the Spirit

Is Joy the Same as Happiness? 10 Things to Know about This Fruit of the Spirit

Theologian Miroslav Volf, who has written books on subjects ranging from the Trinity to the challenges of reconciliation in divided societies, has turned to what might seem like a frivolous subject: joy.

But Volf, 61, the leader of the Yale Center for Faith and Culture, says studying the theology of joy with students and scholars is “hard work."

He spoke with Religion News Service about the difference between joy and happiness, biblical lessons on joy and how the average person can find joy.

The interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Photo courtesy: ©Thinkstock/beerphotograph

The Compelling Witness of Choosing Joy Even in Difficult Times

The Compelling Witness of Choosing Joy Even in Difficult Times

Christian joy, especially in difficult times, can be our most compelling witness. The joy of the Lord encourages and empowers us to grow even deeper with our Lord. As I noted in a website article yesterday, joy comes from Jesus. As a result, we can “rejoice in the Lord always” (Philippians 4:4). The more we experience Jesus’ joy and love, the more we will want to share his joy and love with those who do not know his grace.

How to 'Receive Divine Joy'

How to 'Receive Divine Joy'

Every day this year, you and I will be tempted to make anything and anyone but Jesus the unifying Person and purpose of our lives. Some have made politics their purpose, others sexual freedom, others material prosperity, and still others personal happiness. But as we march past the coffins waiting for us all (if the Lord tarries), remember this fact: “Neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39).

Choosing Joy This Christmas Season

Choosing Joy This Christmas Season

How can we have and share the joy of Jesus in this season as we celebrate his birth? The answer is not to wait until the world is more joyful. When the pandemic is finally over, other fears and threats will take its place. The answer is to seek joy—a sense of wellbeing that transcends circumstances—rather than happiness, which is based on happenings. 

The Joy of Loving God with 'All Your Soul'

The Joy of Loving God with 'All Your Soul'

How can you and I love God with “all our souls” more fully today than ever before? As with any relationship, spending time together is vital. This works on two levels.

One is private: making time to focus on our Lord by practicing his presence through intentional solitude. The other is public: walking at his side as we experience the events of the day.

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