Happiness & Joy: The Subtle Distinction

by Ted Cockle

Gospel Deeps

An insightful and subtle distinction:

“Joy is deeper than happiness, but like happiness, joy is always circumstantial. Because the gospel is true, then, even when we aren’t happy we can know the deeper joy because of the circumstances of God’s goodness and love. On the permanent condition of God’s unrelenting grace, joy is a permanent possibility.”

—Jared Wilson, Gospel Deeps: Reveling in the Excellencies of Jesus, (Crossway, 2012), p. 83

That happiness and joy both need to be grounded in something is not a new concept—in fact, it is a bit of a no brainer. The difference in their foundation, however, is what makes a world of difference, and qualifies this statement as profound.

It’s important to ask ourselves, then, is our Joy founded in temporal happiness or in the eternal gospel of Christ?

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