I once read a magazine article about Oprah Winfrey written by her personal fitness trainer Bob Greene. "One day we were taking a long walk along Indiana's back roads, when I asked her 'How often do you feel joy in your life?'
"She appeared caught off guard. I asked her when was the last time she had experienced a joyful moment.
"'Oh, I'm trying to remember,' she said. 'I think it was 1985, when I was doing The Color Purple. I loved every moment of it.' I dropped the subject....Here it was 1993.
She hadn't experienced real joy in almost eight years."
Nothing is more revealing about us than what brings us joy. Paul and Barnabas had just been chased out of a city by an angry mob, and they were "filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit" (Acts 13:52). "The martyrs were more happy in the flames than their persecutors could be on their beds of down," commented Adam Clarke on this verse.
Even when there is heartache, those who look to Christ find joy. A mother concerned about a child wrote, "On April 4th the Lord spoke to me about putting on the joy of the Holy Spirit instead of heaviness. I continue to pray, but there is a rest since I prayed through to victory."
Jesus, You are my joy.