Our hearts ache, but we always have joy. We are poor, but we give spiritual riches to others. We own nothing, and yet we have everything. (NLT)
Joy and sorrow are not opposites but close companions. This can be so because joy is not the same as happiness. Joy is glad confidence in the goodness of God whereas happiness is an emotional reaction to favourable circumstances.
Joy is dependent on the character of God and so can be commanded and sustained at all times. Happiness can never be constant because circumstances are not always favourable. Someone who is happy all the time is probably existing in unhealthy, neurotic denial. Someone who is joyful all the time is living in the real world where God is close at hand.
In times of bereavement we can be sad at the loss of someone we love and yet glad of the consolation provided by others. When we experience a wonderful place on our own we can be sad that others are not there to share it and yet glad we ourselves have that experience. Life situations are so often interwoven with joys and sorrows at the same time.
We cannot live free of heartache. We cannot be happy all the time. We can simply seek to trace the rainbow of joy through the rain of sorrow. We cannot simply dismiss either joy or sorrow from our life: they are our lifelong strange companions. Of course till one day when there will only be joy.