"Serious, calm, cool, and collected" didn't make it on to the list describing the fruit of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Joy did. That is not to say that there isn't a time to mourn and be comforted--it's just that mourning is not a defining characteristic of those who are filled with the Spirit of the Living God.
To be joyful does not necessarily mean to be obnoxious or silly (though it possibly may look that way to the uninformed). As a fruit of the Spirit, it is accompanied by love, peace, patience, long-suffering, gentleness, and self-control.
Joy looks different on everyone. I have an uncanny ability to laugh and/or cry when I'm filled with joy. (It's not always pretty which is unfortunate.) My beautiful friend Amy is a lot more quiet than I am, but she radiates. My husband's eyes twinkle. My daughter just has to spin around. Joy in any form is unmistakable.
So is joy something we get randomly blasted with or must we conjure it up?
I can conjure it up once in a while. When I've had enough sleep, the sun is shining, I've had my coffee, the kids are behaving, adequate amounts of chocolate have been consumed, no one has looked at me funny... You get the idea. Conditions are rarely optimal.
He gives it to us. He came to give us "messages of joy instead of news of doom, a praising heart instead of a languid spirit." Instead of.
So why can't I feel it sometimes? Because I quench His Spirit within me. I forget to give thanks in all things. I stop praising and begin fretting. I pile on all kinds of burdens, complaints and worries. I get my undies and my eyebrows in a knot. (That's not pretty either!) I've gotta lay them all down at the feet of Jesus and look into His love-filled eyes.
Joy is the fruit of His spirit. It's what naturally happens when we "abide in the Vine."
There is joy in His presence!
His joy gives us strength.
Blessing you with the courage to lay down your burdens and trust in His promise of good plans for your life. May you feel the strength-giving joy of His presence!
Joy is yours, it belongs to the children of God. Don't let anything steal it away.
Is 61:3 MSG, John 15, Nehemiah 8:10