Day 1: "For a day in your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere." Ps 84:10a
Joy is not dependent on my physical circumstances but on the condition of my spirit. As long as I am in the secure confines of His walled courts, I know my eternal soul is safe. It is the condition of my eternal spirit that determines the eternal condition of my mind, body and heart.
Day 2: Joy through tears. Interesting concept that I began to understand when I listened to Page CXVI sing their version of "I've got that joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart..." Normally a rousing chorus, they sing it as a dirge. Joy is possible through tears when you define joy as Webster's 7th Collegiate Dictionary does - "the prospect of possessing what one desires". Because of Jesus, believers have the prospect- the good outlook - the sure hope of receiving our hearts desire - eternity with Him.
Day 3: "Joyful, joyful we adore Thee, God of glory, Lord of love"
Hearing this song does NOT bring me joy. It just musically expresses what God, in His great mercy placed in my heart. My heart unfolds "like flowers before Thee, opening to the sun above".
Day 4: I read a Tweet by Paul Tripp - "When you work to convince yourself that you're okay, you tell yourself that you don't need the grace that is your only hope." Knowing that the Graceful God, who is my only hope, is also very merciful when I try to tell myself I'm okay.
Day 7: Joy unspeakable. "Though you do not now see him, you believe him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory..." 1Peter 1:8
How often I rely on that verse that says the Spirit is able to translate those deep painful groanings that I cannot put to words - usually when I'm not getting something I want. In this verse, there's a joy so complex that I cannot wrap my finite brain around it - here I have something I do not understand. But the Spirit again translates for me to God's glory. And I'm able to move forward with quiet confidence.