JOY is NOT momentary happiness, though it can include it.
JOY is NOT dependent on what others think or say.
Joy is NOT tied to our emotions.
JOY IS gladness, happiness, and delight that is not based on circumstances, people, or things.
JOY IS a choice.
JOY IS available for each and every one of us.
Let's be real. Life is full of reasons to be downcast, disappointed, dismayed, discouraged, and other "D" words. But it's also full of reasons to rejoice, and to be glad in, and to celebrate. The way we approach life - with all of its highs and lows - is up to us. We can come with expectant, excited, and anticipatory hearts, full of gratefulness and love, or with no expectation or excitement at all. In that case, life will just happen and we will have no part to play in its outcome.
"The JOY of the Lord is my strength" (Nehemiah 8:10). That's JOY in the fact that He loves me, saved me, delivered me, healed me, provides for me, restored me, leads me, guides me, makes intercession for me, delights in me, showers me with good gifts, ..... and so much more! And that joy is what is going to carry us towards our dreams.
May our JOY be contagious!