Joy is possible because we exercise faith, trust and hope. We can relax and rejoice because God is in control and that means we don’t have to be. I like what Dallas Willard says about those who think God is against fun. Failure to obtain a deeply satisfying life always has the effect of making sinful actions seem good. Here lies the strength of temptation… normally our success in overcoming temptation would be easier if we are basically happy in our lives. To cut off the joys and pleasures associated with our bodily lives and social existence as ‘unspiritual’, then it can actually have the effect of weakening us in our efforts to do what is right.
The scripture that makes me smile the most is, Psalm 19:1-5, where the Psalmist says, the heavens make God known…and then he goes on to say that the sun, when it rises, comes out like the radiant bridegroom coming out of his wedding tent. Essentially he is saying that God goes about His service to creation (to us) with a big smile on his face. If that isn’t a picture of joy, I don’t know what is! Aren’t you glad God is a joyful God? As John Ortberg says, God is the most joyful being in the universe.