“The Lord will surely comfort Zion and will look with compassion on all her ruins; he will make her deserts like Eden, her wastelands like the garden of the Lord. Joy and gladness will be found in her, thanksgiving and the sound of singing.”
Here Jesus tells his disciples to remain in his love, and then tells them why:
“I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.”
Later, he tells his disciples that weeping and mourning will come, even as others rejoice, but that eventually, that grief will be transformed: “Very truly I tell you, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy.” (16.20)
Paul’s speech here reminds us that all human beings – even non-believers – can experience joy, this is the generous grace of God:
“Yet he has not left himself without testimony: He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; he provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy.”
Joy, like peace, comes from God, for a powerful purpose in our lives: hope.
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
1 Thessalonians 2:19-20
Here Paul tells the Thessalonians that the joy that motivates him, and that he longs for, is the growth and salvation of the Thessalonians themselves.