Joy, like love, is difficult to define. It may best be described by the things which it does. Like love, it describes an entire spectrum of emotions. Like love, it is developed in stages. It can perhaps be roughly defined as the delight of the mind in consideration of a present or future good.
Joy is not merely a feeling of elation, for it may be experienced in the most trying of times. It can be expressed in the midst of famine (Hab. 3:17, 18), in persecution (Acts 5:41), in the loss of temporal possessions (Heb. 10:34), and in trials (1 Peter 4:12, 13).