Joyfulness in all its forms ultimately comes from God, who provides all good and perfect gifts (James 1.17). However, those blessings can become snares and hindrances if we make physical pleasure the aim of our life. All the blessings we receive are intended to point us to another life, a spiritual one, which is hid in the heavenly places with Jesus. We must determine to put away anything that becomes an obstacle to true, spiritual joyfulness; we must lay aside all the weights of worldliness and learn to see the true point of life: to bring glory to God in all we do.
If we begin to focus on joy and happiness here, in this place and this life, then we are going to get neither real joy nor real happiness and we will miss out on eternity with God. Like Jesus said, we cannot serve God and mammon (Matthew 6.24). We must never forget God made the world an enjoyable place because of his great love for us, but that enjoyment was meant to point us back to the creator, not to become the chief and primary goal of our lives here. If we turn away from the creator to focus on the creation, we have missed the point entirely of all the good things that God gives us.
In addition to serving us and having a relationship with us, God also provides for the things we need. He has been working since before the foundation of the world to save people from sin, knowing we were going to need salvation even before we existed. He knew that by giving free will there was the distinct possibility (really a certainty) that we would make bad choices. He chose to redeem us and save us instead of destroying us, and is remaking us into the image of his son, Jesus.
We should be overjoyed that God not only considers us but also lets nothing stop his plan of salvation, and he stops at nothing to bring about the good things he planned for us. The salvation of our souls has been the guiding aim of history since the beginning of time. When people truly understand and believe this, we should overflow with joyfulness not only at the time the plan is fulfilled, but each time it is fulfilled. Like the angels who rejoice in heaven over the single person who comes back to the Lord (Luke 15.10), we too should have our hearts filled with joy every time someone turns away from sin and death and comes back to the Lord and to eternal life.
“David also commanded the chiefs of the Levites to appoint their brothers as the singers who should play loudly on musical instruments, on harps and lyres and cymbals, to raise sounds of joy.”
– 1 Chronicles 15.16
The Old Testament also presents worship as way that joy is not only expressed, but a way that joy is achieved or attained. David commanded that singers and musicians should be placed among the people of Israel during their time of worship to “raise sounds of joy”. This, by the way, is the reason that there would be instruments in the tabernacle and the temple, the Lord giving the commandment for such things through David.