Modern Life, Diminishing Joy?

I am in the middle of a strenuous task! Pulling together a history of joy over a considerable period of time. This is not a cut and dry task.  What is joy?  Is joy a subset of happiness or is happiness a subset of joy? Should I study both? How do people define joy? Happiness? Why on earth is this significant? This is hopefully going to be a series of blogs as I pull together these thoughts. I am working on this alongside working in real life, with people struggling with some traumatic issues. This past week there was a painful outburst as I began to read the verse in James, “Count it all joy…..” Didn’t get any further, wasn’t able to unpack anything more. I do understand. BUT, it is in the Word of God and needs to be unpacked in the context of a complete study of Joy in the Old and New Testaments.  God does understand but He has the whole picture.  We are stuck in our own little worlds, sometimes of agonizing pain. A Yale study, ongoing, starting with a reflection on the joylessness of modern life, noted that this has possibly led to much dysfunction in life and it might have something to do with the fact that up to the beginning of the 20th century, joy was related and attached to a spiritual journey.  Thoughts?    

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