"For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit" (Romans 14:17)
It is a great thing to have your source of joy within your own heart; to have a fountain of joy within, not in your surroundings or circumstances or possessions. A joy based in our surroundings or possessions cannot possibly make us always happy. When our possessions and surroundings are intact, we are happy, but when they are gone we are miserable. We are happy when we are rich, but miserable when poor. We are happy when we are well, but miserable when sick. Happy only when others speak well of us and our friends surround us, but plunged into the depths of despair when something changes.
But if our source of joy is in our own hearts, a fountain springing up within us, then we are entirely independent of our surroundings and circumstances, our possessions or lack of possessions. We are equally joyful when rich or poor, when things go just right or "dead wrong," when well or sick, when friends are with us or when they depart us through death. Indeed, the joy of the indwelling Spirit of God even wells up within us in the moments of deepest bereavement. In that dark hour that comes, we look into the face of some dearly loved one lying cold and still in death, what possible comfort is there in anything that this world can give? But from this fountain within us, which the indwelling Spirit has become, gushes up at such a time as that "inexpressible and glorious joy" (1 Peter 1:8).
Joy in the Holy Spirit, springing up, always springing up, three hundred and sixty-five days in every year, springs up under all circumstances into everlasting life, a fountain that you can take with you wherever you go. If you have this pure crystal spring of the Holy Spirit in your heart, it will make it impossible for you to seek to satisfy your thirst at the green, slimy pools of this world's pleasures. You can know this wondrous joy today. The Lord Jesus stands before you, all unseen, but nevertheless present, holding out the golden goblet that contains the living water, and says, "Drink deeply." Will you?
Our Father in heaven, my desire is to have this fountain of joy welling up in my soul through the Holy Spirit. I confess I am far too dependent upon the world for my happiness. I come to You to drink and be filled. Amen
~R. A. Torrey~