“Joy is something we have; rejoicing is something we do. Our joy is in the Lord. That means that our joy is in our born-again spirits (Gal 5:22). Joy doesn’t come from the outside in response to circumstances; it comes from the inside and is a fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22). We always have joy, but we must choose to rejoice.”
Notice what Paul says doesn’t come naturally; it is learned. The normal, natural state of humanity is discontent and quiet desperation. It takes a powerful, spiritual presence to transform anxiety into joyous satisfaction. Ironically, it may be the shackles more than his freedom that schools Paul in the art of contentment. Despite the chains, Paul discovers this beautiful state of inner peace through the power of Jesus residing in him.