JOY = Jesus first, Yourself last and Others in between
factors and circumstances of life, but as a result of consistent inner peace and security through the lasting intimate relationship with Christ, enhanced by the answers to our prayers (Jn 15:11, 16:22,24, 17:13). Rather than a varying happy emotion, joy is a quality of life that comes from God Himself, and as a fruit of the Spirit should characterize our lives, especially as we consider what we had been saved from, and the blessings that are ours both now and awaiting us in heaven (Ps 51:12; Isa 12:2,3; Rom 14:17; Gal 5:22,23; 1 Pet 1:8,9). This spiritual joy replaces any sadness relating to this world, knowing our heart is right with God (Ps 30:11; Isa 61:3). A joyful person forgives, walking in freedom in Christ, while someone unwilling to forgive can’t experience real joy.
Joy should not be affected by circumstances
decision to focus on what is good, positive and uplifting (Phil 4:8). Develop an attitude of thankfulness for all the blessings you have received, not what you consider you are entitled to, and rejoice with others in their happiness (Rom 12:15). Our joy should be in the Lord who is our strength (Neh 8:10).
While Jesus is often referred to as "A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief" He also knew Joy (Isa 53:3; Jn 15:10,11). This was the joy that came from pleasing His Father through complete obedience and fulfilling His mission on earth. Jesus, for the joy set before Him [of being reunited physically with His Father in heaven and securing eternal salvation for all who would believe] was able to endure the cross (Heb 12:2). He had a long-term perspective and so was able in joyful anticipation to see beyond the immediate pain to the reward that would be achieved. Similarly a Christian’s joy can be the outcome of having the true perspective on suffering and temptation – both necessary disciplines for a Godly life (Lk 6:22,23; 2 Cor 6:10; Heb 10:34; Jas 1:2-6; 1 Pet 4:13). “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him…” (Rom 15:13).
The Philippian Christians were a source of great joy to Paul (Phil 1:4, 4:1). Just as a farmer rejoices when he finds a lost animal so there is rejoicing and joy in heaven when a sinner repents, with those we have introduced to Christ and who continue to walk with Him bringing us joy, just as we bring great joy to Jesus (Lk 15:6-10; 1 Thes 2:19,20; 3 Jn 1:3,4; Jud 1:24).