Summary: Joy has often been defined as happiness; as a feeling; true, Biblical Joy has more to do with Faith than it has to do with feeling.
(James 1:2-4; NKJV)
“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials,  knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.  But, let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.”
? A certain elderly lady was well-known for her faith, and for her boldness in talking about it. At times, she would stand on her front porch and shout: “PRAISE THE LORD!” Next door to her lived an atheist who would get so angry at her proclamations he would shout: “There ain’t no God!” Hard times set in on this Godly elderly lady, and she prayed for the Lord to send her some assistance. She stood on her porch and openly prayed: “GOD I NEED FOOD! I AM HAVING A HARD TIME. PLEASE LORD, SEND ME SOME GROCERIES!” The next morning the lady went out on her porch, and noted a large bag of groceries and shouted, “PRAISE THE LORD!” The neighbor jumped from behind a bush and said: “A-ha! I told you there was no God. I bought those groceries, God didn’t!” The lady started jumping up and down and clapping her hands and said: “PRAISE THE LORD! He not only sent me groceries, but He made the devil pay for them…Praise the Lord!”
? For the ump-teenth time, Mrs. Youngston came to her pastor to tell him: “I’m so scared! Joe says he’s going to kill me if I continue to come to your Church.” “Yes, yes,” replied the pastor, more than a little tired of hearing this over and over. “I shall continue to pray for you, Mrs. Youngston. Have faith – the Lord will watch over you.” “O, yes, the Lord has kept me safe thus far; only…” “Only what…?” “Well, now he says if I keep coming to your Church, he’s going to kill YOU!” “Well, now,” said the pastor, “perhaps it’s time to check out that little Church on the other side of town.”
Who doesn’t like to laugh and cut-up once in a while? According to years of medical, emotional, and psychological studies, genuine, non-chemical influenced happiness and laughter is holistically good for us. But, we humans sometimes misunderstand and misinterpret the meaning of some words/phrases…joy is one of those. You see, joy – especially Biblical joy – is one of those words.
Biblical joy is not entirely synonymous with happiness. Happiness relies completely emotion. Emotion is the authentication of happiness. The same way sadness is demonstrated by depression and tears. Joy has been accepted in our English language as an emotional demonstration often defined as happiness. Yet, Biblically, joy has a different connotation for the word joy.
Unlike a fleeting moment of happiness or laughter; unlike the pleasure of a beautiful sight, unlike a close gathering of friends or loved ones, true, Biblical joy is given to us because of our relationship with the Lord.
? (Rom. 3:23) – “…For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…”
? (Gal. 4:4-5) – “…when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law,  to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.”
When sinners turn from their sin and start serving the Lord by obedience, they learn that God has forgiven them; they learn that God provides enabling grace for them; and, they are truly thankful that their sins are no longer accounted against them. This inner assurance (faith), this trust in God for all that one has surrendered (foregoing the temporal pleasures of sin, and the abandonment of all sin), these are the attributes of Biblical joy.
? (Heb. 11:6) – “…without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”
I. Believe that God exists.
II. Accept what God says.
III. Trust in and rest upon what God promises.