Joy, a product of the Gospel
If we have a firm understanding of the gospel--this joy-infused gospel--this gospel that makes peace between God and man, then there is no circumstance that we could not face in light of the joy we have in Christ. Take Paul for example. He was beaten and thrown into prison in Acts 16. His response? To sing hymns. Let's be honest...I don’t know if I would be singing hymns, but the truth is I want that type of faith...that is the joy I want...do you?
In our modern Western life we have circumstances that we consider joy-zappers, and they are not necessarily persecution (although it may occur), but rather boredom or selfish belief in entitlements that have been thwarted. This is a product of our over-indulgence of and focus on pleasure. Now, there are also times of pain, suffering and heartache that threaten to steal our joy, but even in these we must learn to count it all joy. The only way we can is to focus on the gospel and on Christ.
Paul writes to the church in Philippi from prison and he writes in light of the joy he has in the gospel. The circumstance he was in made him long for heaven, but he found joy in his partnership with Christ in the gospel. So he joyfully prayed for the Philippians.
The gospel speaks of the greatest selfless and sacrificial act. If we as a church follow His example and love one another then the world will know we are His disciples (John 13:35). Selfless and sacrificial love places the gospel on display and produces love worthy of bearing the name of Jesus while infusing our lives with joy.