Hope Article - Joy: Where Does it Come From? Return to previous page
Author: Andrea Marcilio

“You have turned my mourning into dancing; you have taken off my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, so that my soul may praise you and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks to you forever.” Psalm 30:11-12

In our pursuit of finding joy and happiness, we must first ask a very important question: what is the origin of joy? Where does it come from?

Suppose a person was in the desert and desperately needing water. He could find a cactus and try to squeeze some water out of it, but it would only quench his thirst for a few minutes and would not be enough to sustain him. So instead, he must find the source of water, a spring that abounds with pure and fresh water and that does not run out.

Likewise, in the pursuit of joy, we may find a person, a hobby, a job, money, and even an object that can provide us with a temporary joy. But that joy will ultimately fade away, it will not be enough to sustain us and provide everlasting joy.

David was a man who seems to have experienced all the joys and tragedies of this world, and yet he says that God was not only his joy, but his exceeding joy. David had his ups and downs in life; however, he knew where to run to both in times of joy or hardship. Throughout his life David experienced temporal joys found in earthly places, people, objects, etc. but he came to that point where he realized that none of that could actually fulfill or satisfy him. He needed a deeper and lasting source of joy, and that he only find in the altars of God.

In Psalm 43:4, David says, “Then I will go to the altar of God, to God my exceeding joy; and I will praise you with the harp, O God, my God.”

Finding God as our source of joy is the first step in experiencing true joy. A joy that does not fade with time or circumstances, a joy that is deeper than a simple smile on our face. A joy that is so powerful, it will give us strength to endure hardships. A joy that goes beyond any momentary pleasure the world has to offer. A joy that could only be given to us by the One who delights in joyful hearts. The One who longs for us to come before Him with praise and thanksgiving, with a joyful and surrendered heart.

This does not mean that there is a specific formula that we have to follow to experience this joy. It’s simply surrendering our life to the Lord, praising Him for the things He has already done in our lives, and knowing that He is there to be our refuge and wellspring of life.