The second Fruit of the Spirit is Joy. The second Fruit of the Flesh is Happiness.
I wrote at some length about Love vs. Romance, but for Joy vs. Happiness I’ll be brief.
One response to the original post was about the denigration of the word “happiness”, and the fact that the Greek and Hebrew words most often translated “blessed” in the Scriptures are just as accurately translated “happy”. Such as in the Psalm 1:1 “Happy is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked,” or Matthew 5:7, “Happy are the merciful.”
The most common approach to Joy vs. Happiness is that Joy is deep and resilient, whereas Happiness is temporary and circumstantial. I have no qualms about that view. But is there a chance we’re giving Happiness the short-shrift?
One of the primary post-modern criticisms of Christianity attacks the naive, happy-clappy, see-no-evil disposition. It bothers me, too. But is happiness the culprit, or the victim here? It would be a funny thing to translate Matthew 5:4, “Happy are those who mourn”. Mourning people aren’t happy, they’re sad.
The second fruit of the flesh is a Happiness that is sought in and of itself. But much like Romance, and the other Fruits of the Flesh, Happiness needs to be a by-product of the Spirit, and becomes an evil thing when it is sought directly. Joy, on the contrary, can be sought directly, because we cannot have it without a whole-hearted trust in God. Happiness is an emotion, but Joy is a commitment.
And no matter what emotions joy may lead us through in this life, happy is the one who joyfully perseveres to the end, where happiness is not the exception, but the rule.