Left on our own, there is no way we can look at our circumstances or Paul look at his wrongful imprisonment and write about joy. But with God, even though Paul was externally in chains, internally he was free and partaking of the joy of the Lord. He was allowing himself to receive the fruit of joy from the Holy Spirit and he was choosing to let it overflow through him despite his present circumstances.
Joy that overflows
The reality remains that authentic joy is contagious.
"We have come into an intimate experience with God’s love, and we trust in the love he has for us. God is love! Those who are living in love are living in God, and God lives through them."
"...Love never takes failure as defeat, for it never gives up. Love never stops loving.”
Must be love…
If we know and believe that we are truly loved then we can then release that same love to the one’s around us.