Joy springs from deep within, pure and unadulterated and radiates outward. Serene, yet palpable is joy. While happiness is also palpable, it springs from the external. Joy, on the other hand, comes from within and is not dependent on external things. I believe I can choose to be happy, but I cannot choose to be joyous.
Joy seems to be a gift that comes with a grateful heart, often following times of putting God and others first. I find I discover joy at times of allowing myself to be led to—or by—God into selflessness by turning oneself over completely to the Divine.
I find joy is a grace bestowed on moments of unity with God. It is the ultimate sense of fulfillment. While joy is often associated with moments of happiness, it can also be found in challenging moments, or even moments of sadness.