Then I will go to the altar of God,
To God my exceeding joy;
And on the harp I will praise You,
O God, my God
There is a great difference between JOY and happiness. JOY is in the realm of the spirit. Happiness is in the realm of the soul. Happiness is related to our emotions, our feelings, our circumstances. When things are going well, we have happiness. When things are not going well, we have unhappiness. It is good to have happiness, but we cannot have it all the time.
JOY, on the other hand, is not dependent on feelings or circumstances. It does not depend .on our physical condition. It is within the spirit. There is only one source of JOY, and that is God - God Himself. God is eternal, unchangeable. That is why it is possible to have JOY even when we cannot feel happiness or pleasure. JOY comes directly from God Himself. Just like God, JOY is eternal, unchangeable, unaffected by situations or circumstances.
But JOY is released only at the altar. We have to make up our minds, as David did, that we will go to God, to the altar - the place of sacrifice - the place of commitment and consecration - the place where we yield ourselves without reservation to God. Then we can have JOY all the time, unchangeably.
(An extract from:Through David's Psalms by Derek Prince)