Passage John 15:9-11:
9 “I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love. 10 When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father’s commandments and remain in his love. 11 I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow!
And there it is! The “secret” to a joyful life is no secret at all. The bottom line with God is always love. Knowing we are loved by God and living in that place of love fills us with life and joy!
We wander around so often wondering why we can’t find joy but Jesus is so plain about it all. He even tells us how to remain in love so that we might remain in joy. It is through obedience.
I think that part rubs us the wrong way. We don’t like to obey. Our flesh is not into humility and submission. We’d rather think that we have more to do with our own joy. We’d like to think that it is our choice and we create it. Those things are only true within our submission to God first.
We sometimes make choices without really consulting the One who knows and loves us best and think we are choosing for our own happiness, but eventually we find that living for our own happiness does not lead to true joy. We humans are curious creatures. We often fight hardest against the things that will bring us what we desire most. Sometimes it is so uncomfortable to abide and obey. It is just counterintuitive that out of obedience true joy springs and overflows.
I know that Jesus has more joy than most. The scripture speaks of Him in the psalms as having more joy than His brothers, yet we know that He experiences sorrow and anger and grief as well. It leads me to believe that joy is not so much an emotion as we often think of it, but rather a state of being and
that state is maintainable and can remain constant even in the midst of very diverse circumstances and emotions.