When our founding fathers wrote the declaration of independence and our constitution- I think they got one thing wrong. Yes, we should not be denied life and liberty, but I would argue a distinct difference between the pursuit of happiness and of joy. I would argue that happiness doesn't require much pursuit but joy is nothing but a constant journey.
During my Bible study in the spring, we spent a few minutes talking about the difference between joy and happiness. We concluded that being happy is a result of things that happen to you, whether you initiate them or not. Joy, however, is a piece of work. Joy is type of life you live when everyday is lived in the name of our Lord. Joy takes work.
I love my Bible- most probably have this, but it wasn't until this Bible that I discovered that there's a subject index in the back. I frequently go back there to find verses that relate to a specific word (usually how I come up with my "art"). I went back to this index one day to find verses for "Joy" and it was bizarre reading through the verses. None of them actually mentioned "joy" but all of them mentioned suffering. (Feel free to check them out: 1 Peter 4:12-19; Matthew 5:1-12; John 13:1-17; Galatians 5:16-26; Phillipians 4:4-9; Colossians 1:24; and James 1:2-18)
I think this backs up my theory that it takes significant work to have joy. It takes persevering through suffering to even begin to understand joy.
Romans 5:3-5- "Not only so but we rejoice in our suffering, because we know that suffering produces perseverence; perseverence, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us because God has poured our his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit whom he has given us."