As much as I need to keeping teaching myself about being more loving, there are still eight more characteristics to explore. The next in the list is joy. For me, this is a fun one. Joy is akin to happiness, and it makes me smile just thinking about it. The difference is that happiness depends on our experiences while our joy should be grounded in our knowledge of God and what He has done for us.
Our joy is to present even in the midst of tribulation. James says, "count it all joy brethren, when you fall into various troubles" (Jas. 1:2). The only way we can sustain our joy even in troubles is through God's help.
Our joy is to be full. At a quick glance, I'm counting at least five place where the Bible mentions our joy being full, usually in connection with going through tribulation. Jesus Himself tells us to ask, that we may receive and then our joy will be full (John 16:24). What can fill your heart more than knowing that the God of the universe hears your requests and desires to help you in your time of need? I am thankful to have a God who loves me that much and more.
Here are a few other verses on joy:
"For the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit."
"Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!"