Some things cannot get a charge unless they are near a source of energy. Rechargeable batteries are no good if they cannot get near the charger and recharge. They are source dependent.
Joy is a lot like this. Joy is charged by a Source. It is not given out as a virtue, it is not earned, it is not easily obtained. Joy has a source. Many experience happiness, few know joy. Happiness is tied to good happenings, joy is independent of circumstance. You can have joy at a party or a funeral because it is not dependant on anything.
Read: Galatians 5:16-25
"Biblical joy consists of the deep and abiding confidence that all is well regardless of circumstance and difficulty. It is something very different from worldly happiness. Biblical joy is always related to God and belongs only to those in Christ. It is the permanent possession of every believer--not a whimsical delight that comes and goes as chance offers it opportunity.
A good definition of joy is this: it's the flag that flies on the castle of the heart when the King is in residence. Only Christians can know true and lasting joy."
16 So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. 17 The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions. 18 But when you are directed by the Spirit, you are not under obligation to the law of Moses.
19 When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, 21 envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.
22 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!
24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. 25 Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.
If you lack joy you may need to make sure you know the Source of joy. It is pretty healthy for "believers" to examine themselves to see if we really know the Lord or not. Joy serves us as one of the best tests for salvation since it cannot be manufactured.
Paul told the Galatians that joy was an expression of the Spirit in our lives. In other words, joy tells me if I am letting the Holy Spirit lead my life (v. 16, 25). So, if joy is lacking, this may be evidence that I am not in step with God's Spirit or that I have never taken a step with Him at all.
One of the greatest joy killers is a false salvation. If we are trying to do the Christian thing not connected to the Source we will experience no joy.
CS Lewis said of joy, if you want to get wet you have to get into the fountain. You must be near the source. If you are away from the fountain you will remain dry.
Are you near the fountain, the Source? You can always tell by answering this question: are you wet or dry? How is your joy?
DevoLink: Devotions to help you Link with God.