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LESSON 1: WORRY, HAPPINESS, AND OUR NEED FOR JOY

QUESTIONS

  1. What is happiness? Is happiness a Christian idea or an idea associated with worldly thinking?
  2. What is joy?
  3. What is the difference between happiness and joy?

DIG DEEPER WITH GOD’S WORD

Read the following texts and prepare to discuss them at Community Group.

  1. Romans 14:22, “The faith which you have, have as your own conviction before God. Happy is he who does not condemn himself in what he approves.” Notice the NAS translates the word μακάριος as happy. The word μακάριος can also be translated blessed, e.g., Matthew 5:3-11. Is happiness a Christian idea?
  2. Galatians 5:22-24, “22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24 Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.” The word joy is χαρά is commonly translated as joy.
  3. Philippians 1:21-26, “21 For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. 22 But if I am to live on in the flesh, this will mean fruitful labor for me; and I do not know which to choose. 23 But I am hard-pressed from both directions, having the desire to depart and be with Christ, for that is very much better; 24 yet to remain on in the flesh is more necessary for your sake. 25 Convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all for your progress and joy in the faith, 26 so that your proud confidence in me may abound in Christ Jesus through my coming to you again.”

LIFE APPLICATION

  1. Think of a time in your life when you were truly happy. What made this event so happy for you? How long were you happy?
  2. Think of a time when you thought you experienced pure joy. What was it like and why?
  3. During your most happy times or most joyful times, were you alone or with people?
  4. What relationships tend to make you happy or joyful?
  5. Does “getting your way” always produce happiness or joy?
  6. What role does serving and sacrifice play in happiness or joy?
  7. What difference can Jesus make in our ability to experience joy?