Unpacking Joy

“These definitions only define the expression of the wonderful emotion. They fail to consider the causes of joy, the circumstances in which it is expressed or its longevity. In these areas, the Bible presents a much more complex virtue than these definitions indicate.”- http://www.cgg.org/index.cfm/fuseaction/Library.sr/CT/PERSONAL/k/280/Fruit-of-Spirit-Joy.htm

Are we to understand biblical principles aside from the dictionary’s definition of words? Do we not understand language through word definition? Can a word capture everything a particular emotion conveys? How do we understand what joy is without the expression of emotion? Is the WORD and connection with God more than emotional outpourings? Yes, but how?

I’m not entirely sure I’ve grasped the concept. Bonhoeffer frequently argued the faith through logic. I’m a scientist and like to do the same.

Joy is a complex fruit that I’m not sure I fully understand quite yet. As such, I feel ill equipped to converse on it in these threads. Is it because I am driven towards complacency and complaining rather than humble submission and thankful pursuit of all that Christ has that I don’t really see the division between joy and happiness? Perhaps.

Maybe this is a lesson God wants to emphasize in my life. Would that mean that joy is synonymous with contentment, trusting God’s providence and deliverance?

Do I need more suffering to understand that? Should we want to suffer in order to achieve greater spiritual understanding? If so, why? Would I even know true joy if I had to express it in dire adversity?

I feel that this concept is leaving me with more questions than answers. Maybe that’s okay too.


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