Phil. 4:4 Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again---rejoice!
Always be full of joy in the Lord. Always? Is it possible to always be full of joy in the Lord? It must be, otherwise why would the Word tell us to do it? Perhaps then we need to consider what it means to have joy in the Lord. Maybe our understanding is messed up. Joy and happiness are not the same thing. Joy is much deeper than happiness. Happiness is more of a momentary feeling of elation. It depends on what is happening at the moment. It is a sense of gladness that we are in the moment.
Joy has more to do with an abiding contentment. It is the sense that all is well with us regardless of the moment. It has more to do with wellness of life. Joy is gladness that we are in life moments, regardless of whether the moment is good or bad. Joy is the knowledge that all is well because God is in control of life and us in it. It is the resting in God's presence. It is keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus and not our momentary circumstances. It is knowing it is well with my soul.
It is possible to always be full of joy in the Lord. We can be so connected to Him that we are not swayed by life's circumstances. We can abide in Him and know we can trust Him to be with us and see us through anything we encounter. We can live without having to struggle to maintain control of what is going on in or around us. We can live content to accept the ebbs and flows of life without worrying about them. We can enjoy life because we know the Lord is with us in it. I would call it joyful living.
Joy can only be a reality when we live in close fellowship with the Lord. The more we abide in His presence, the more joy will fill our souls. Jesus is our song to sing. Let us always rejoice in Him.