I never knew until recently that quite a number of christians consider joy and happiness to be 2 different things. And the general consensus is joy is not dependent on one’s circumstances and thus eternal while happiness is dependent on one’s circumstances and could be short lived. It seems like we were pitting one against the other.
I checked the dictionary to see the difference between the two and was quite surprised to find that they were both synonyms of each other. This was when it hit me that we tend not to look at things in the bible in the context they were used. This kind of approach to bible interpretation can be riddled with errors and give rise to faulty doctrines.
I decided to look to the bible and check the original words translated as joy and happiness and discovered to my amazement that the original word Hebrew and Greek words happiness was translated from actually means ‘being blessed’. Joy on the other hand referred to rejoicing, gladness. Both have their place and none is inferior to the other.
Paul gave a charge to Timothy and this charge was to study to show himself approved unto God, a work man not being ashamed but RIGHTLY dividing the word of truth.
Work hard so God can say to you, “Well done.” Be a good workman, one who does not need to be ashamed when God examines your work. Know what his Word says and means. 2 Timothy 2:15 (TLB)
Often times, it appears we rely on common sense and wildly held popular beliefs in our interpretation of the bible. We thus end up with doctrines that are so far removed from what the bible says. The tithe doctrine is a very popular example; its definition has been completely redefined that it’s been so distorted and bears no resemblance to anything in the bible. Even though we cannot find a single portion of the bible where a tithe of money has been commanded we still hear it being taught. And a lot of scripture are quoted entirely out of context in support.
Let us look at scriptures in the context they were used so as to better understand what is being said.