What is extraordinary about Paul is how unbelievably durable his joy was when things weren’t going well.
Where did this come from?
This joy was taught by Jesus: “Blessed are you when men hate you… Be glad in that day, and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven” (Luke 6:22–23).
Joy comes from the Holy Spirit, not our own efforts or imagination or family upbringing. “The fruit of the Spirit is… joy” (Galatians 5:22). “You received the word in much tribulation with the joy of the Holy Spirit” (1Thessalonians 1:6).
Joy comes from belonging to the kingdom of God. “The kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Romans 14:17).
Joy comes through faith, that is, from believing God. “Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing” (Romans 15:13). “I know that I shall remain and continue with you all for your progress and joy of faith” (Philippians 1:25).
Joy comes from seeing and knowing Jesus as Lord. “Rejoice in the Lord always” (Philippians 4:4).
Joy comes from fellow believers who work hard to help us focus on these sources of joy, rather than deceitful circumstances. “We are workers with you for your joy” (2 Corinthians 1:24).
Joy comes from the sanctifying effects of tribulations. “We also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope” (Romans 5:3–4).
This is joy. It comes as a fruit of grace at work in our lives. And it is a supernatural life.