The characteristic of joy exceeds simple pleasure. Kenneson points out that joy is a byproduct of the desire for something more outward.
The “other-directedness,” outward movement, of joy may very well be why it is so closely connected to love. If love be related to God’s grace, the gift exemplifies a significance between the two Greek words with the same root: charis (grace) and chara (joy).
As amazing as it sounds, scripture connects suffering with joy; “living joyfully despite persecution and affliction does not require one to deny the reality of suffering or pain” (63).
The world presents the greatest obstacles concerning joy. English poet Lord Byron said, “There’s not a joy the world can give like that it takes away.” The craving for more and cultural dispositions of anxiety and fear are fed by an advertising industry promoting both.
Cultivating joy occurs when we are able to rejoice in the opportunity to worship God, nurturing contentment, and learning to enjoy children.
There is more and I encourage you to get Kenneson’s book and read the depths to this fruit of the Spirit.