EBible Fellowship Sunday Bible Study – 20-Sep-2009


by John McOwen


Let us begin.  We are going to look at a concept today, so our study this morning will focus on two different words that I was asked (actually, back at our Bible conference a few weeks ago) to do a study on.  I endeavored to look into the contrasting emotions that we experience as human beings of joy and sorrow. 

It seems, obviously, that we all experience both emotions sometimes in life.  But sometimes, the Scriptures do talk about how simultaneously we are commanded or we are shown that we feel both joy and sorrow. 

How can that be?  They seem to be completely in contradistinction to one another, or mutually exclusive emotions.  How can you be joyful and sorrowful at the exact same time?  Is it possible?  Or does one precede the other at times?  Or are they completely opposite and one day you feel great and the next day you feel sorrowful and it lingers for a while? 

The first thing we are going to do is look at the two words, look at the concepts, the terms that are used in the Bible—joy, and then contrast it with sorrow.  And then we are going to try to pull them together and see when they do occur simultaneously what the Scriptures say about it, and try to look at our own lives to see how we experience or express these emotions and how we feel when they are present with us.

Let us start with joy; let us start by defining the word “joy.”  What does the word “joy” mean to you when you hear it?  Joy, what does it evoke in you?  What kind of response, emotion?  How do you feel?  What causes joy?  Gladness is a good synonym.  Happy, laughter; a lot of times laughter can exist along with joy because you feel good. 

The English definition formally (and listen to this because it really follows the Scripture; again, a lot of times our English definitions are just so close if not right-on with how Scripture defines these terms), but the English definition of joy is “the emotion evoked by well-being or success or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what you desire.” 

So think about that, your well-being or your success.  You feel success or you achieve success, you have good fortune, something really good happens to you, and the first response is joy.  Or, if you have the prospect of possessing what you desire—we are going to see that in the Scripture in moment. 

Examples of this in real life would be how do you experience or express joy?  How do you feel joy?  A job promotion would be one, right?  There is the prospect of getting something you have been shooting for, that job or that promotion in work, and you get it.  Or, landing a job.  Maybe you studied in school all those years and you finally get that first job that you really wanted and there is the joy you feel when you get that call saying, “We would like for you to start next Monday.”  How about getting an “A” on a test?  You studied really hard, it was a difficult week or two in school for you, and you get the result and it is an “A.”  Typically a child who gets an “A” is pretty joyful, right?  That is cause for joy because you know you achieved at the highest level in the class.  Maybe you got a perfect score on the exam. 

How about in a collective example when you have a sports team, and what are they shooting for every season?  Whatever sport it is, they usually have a season and then they have playoffs and then it is the championship, and when you win the championship, what does the winning team always do?  Do they ever just walk off the field, just blasé?  No, they are joyful and they are jumping on each other.  And if it is at their home stadium, the fans go crazy and that is another cause for joy because that was good fortune.  Success was achieved; that was the whole purpose of them having that season. 

This is what joy is in our world.  So ask yourself the question, when is the last time you experienced joy in your life?  And what caused it? 

Let us now see how God determines when you should be joyful and what the Bible defines as real joy.  The first place we are going to look at is Matthew 13:44, and it is similar to what we have just been talking about in the real world, how joy comes about.  In Matthew 13:44, Jesus here is giving an analogy and He says:

Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field.

So why was that man joyful?  What did he find?  The treasure that was likened to the Kingdom of Heaven.  So in the first instance, it was that treasure of a lot of money of the jewels and whatever was in it, so he had great joy.  He found this treasure just hunting around or walking by and he trips over this treasure chest or whatever, and all of a sudden he finds it.  Then for joy thereof, he goes and sells all that he has to buy the field, then he can get that treasure and it will be his, so he is joyful.  And if you came upon a lot of money, righteously, you would probably feel very joyful too because it would involve a lot of purchasing power.  It would make you feel good. 

So God is just telling us in general, joy, and He is describing the emotion of joy in human beings in the example of how you get it.  He likens it to finding the Kingdom of Heaven; that treasure is likened to the Kingdom of Heaven.  We now understand that the joy in the Bible that God is most interested in and focused on is the spiritual joy that you achieve when you find the Kingdom of Heaven. 

Let us see more about this in Galatians 5; that is the fruit of the Spirit in that chapter.  And if you look in the New Testament, Galatians 5:22 is where the fruit of the Spirit starts.  Now remember, the fruit of the Spirit is contrasted in this chapter with a previous list of the lusts of the flesh and all the things that the flesh does, the things that are wrong that the flesh does.  And then it says in Galatians 5:22:

But the fruit of the Spirit is…

There is a list here of things that are “fruit of the Spirit,” and look at one of them in verse 22:

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering…

So the word “joy” is a fruit of the Spirit.  Therefore, it is a good thing; it is a wonderful emotion to have.  God gives us this and it is a beautiful blessing in the human condition.  The more joyful you are, typically, the more happy you are. 

But here, it is a fruit of the Spirit.  So what is the joy that is a fruit?  If it is a fruit of the Spirit, what does this mean has to happen?  What is the root then?  What causes that joy to grow or come out?  The Spirit of God.  So the Spirit of God then has to be present for that true joy that is a fruit of the Spirit of God to be there. 

So you may win the lottery and be an unbeliever and you are still going to have great joy, right?  But the joy God is talking about in the Bible, most especially, is the joy that comes spiritually through having the Holy Spirit in you.  So you have to be filled with the Spirit of God first for this fruit to show.  This joy then is something a little bit different than just the emotion of happiness.  It may include that, but it is deeper than that. 

Let us go on and see, because it is not food and drink and money and all that.  It is different because the prerequisite is that the Spirit of God must be there first for you to then have the fruit. 

So what then is joy in the Holy Ghost?  Let us look at Romans 14:17, and it is in the New Testament also.  Romans 14:17 goes back to that analogy in Matthew 13, where the Kingdom of Heaven was likened unto treasure hid in a field.  Remember the man had great joy when he found the treasure; he was all excited.  “Wow, look at this treasure!”  God likened it to Heaven.  And now in Romans 14:17, He is saying:

For the kingdom of God is not

So now we are seeing what “the kingdom of God,” or the Kingdom of Heaven, “is not.”  It is not:

…[food] and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.

Do you see again the underscoring of the fact that joy is tied into being in the Holy Spirit?  So it is not food and drink.  The Kingdom of Heaven is not interested in that.  It is not the physical things of life that can bring us joy—which do naturally, and there is nothing wrong with that, but that is not where the essence of having true happiness is. 

This is why someone in Hollywood can have all the money in the world and all the fame and attention in the world and not be happy.  Michael Jackson, it happened to him just a couple weeks ago.  So obviously God is putting His finger here on the issue of not having the focus be for your fulfillment, the things of the world, whether it is treasure, physically, or money, or food and drink, but it is “joy in the Holy Ghost.”  

So let us understand more.  What is “joy in the Holy Ghost?”  What does it mean to have joy in the Holy Ghost?  It could motivate you; it should motivate you if you do have this.  So let us see if the Scripture defines what it means to have joy in the Holy Ghost.  And really, it means two things; but ultimately I think it has to do with, first and foremost, having the Holy Spirit in you.  And if you have the Holy Ghost in you and He is residing in you, and you have the Spirit of God in you, what is that called in John 3?  It is called being “born again.”  So you have to be truly saved or born again. 

Let us look at 1 Thessalonians 1, because God will tell us the same thing here in 1 Thessalonians (it is before Hebrews, right after Philippians).  1 Thessalonians 1:4-6:

Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God.

What is being talked about so far?  Who are these people?  God’s people, born again people.  If you are elected of God, it means you were chosen of God; it means you are saved.  So we are talking about believers who are saved:

For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost…

There we see that term again, “in the Holy Ghost”:

…and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake. And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost:

So the people were receiving what?  What was verse 5 all about?  What did they bring?  What did Paul bring to them?  The truth, the Gospel.  What saves you?  That is how God saves people, the Word of God, the Gospel.  

So these people here in Thessalonica (and He is talking about the elect, the ones who were saved), He is saying they received it in much affliction because it was contrary to what the people of the day were believing, so they were in affliction.  It was not a common, popular thing, but they received it with “joy of the Holy Ghost.”  It transcended the affliction of being kind of picked out as an oddball in the town for believing this new thing, this sect, whatever it was, called Christianity.  The joy of the Holy Ghost overrode perhaps some of the negative consequences of how you were viewed by your neighbors and friends and family maybe.  So it really has to do with being saved.

Let us look at Luke 15, another example of what joy in the Holy Ghost means.  We read there (again we are going to focus on joy, when someone has the Holy Ghost, what that means) in Luke 15:3-7:

 And he spake this parable unto them, saying,

This is Jesus:

What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it?

So you see, it is saying that we would all do this.  If we had 99 sheep and we lost one, we all are going to go look for it:

And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost. I say unto you, that likewise joy…

There is our word again:

…shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.

So what is the focus here?  What is the joy?  In Heaven there is joy over what?  Repentance.  The sinner that repents means that he has turned from his sin. 

So of the ninety-nine sheep, there was one lost and he leaves the ninety-nine out of the hundred and goes after the lost one.  He finds it, and there is joy.  So what does it mean to have joy in the Holy Ghost? 

What happened to the Thessalonicans?  They received the Word from Paul, the missionary.  They received the Word with joy in the Holy Ghost because they were elect of God, they were saved, they were forgiven of sins, they repented, they turned from sin. 

So God is talking about how joy comes.  It is not so much finding the treasure that might have a lot of money in it in a field.  It is like unto the Kingdom of Heaven though, and the joy that God is interested in is the joy that you experience when you finally repent and turn from sin and realize that you are indwelt with the Holy Ghost.  There is cause for great joy in your life and you should be joyful. 

This is why someone asked me a couple of weeks ago to do a study on joy and sorrow because he did not feel like he was full of joy all the time and thought he should be from reading these Scriptures.  Is that necessarily the case?  Well, we are going to look at that, but there is joy when one sinner repents in Heaven and there is joy when people receive the Holy Spirit.  The Bible is telling us this. 

So there should be joy, but what is the prospect?  What causes the joy?  Okay, so you turn from sin, but that is hard.  Let us say the sinner repents and turns and God has found that person and that person suddenly is sensitive to the Word of God and to God’s guidance in his or her life.  But what happens?  Why are you so joyful then?  What do you have?  If you have the Holy Spirit, what do you have?  You have eternal life and the assurance that you are going to live forever.  That is what we are going to see. 

Go to Matthew 25, and let us see this.  This is what you have to focus on.  You may not have all of the things that cause other people joy.  You may not have the job promotion; you may have the worst job in the company.  You may not have any job and be on unemployment today and suffering.  You may not have good health.  You may be getting “D’s” in school right now.  Remember, we were talking about the “A” causing you great joy.  You may be the worst team in the league instead of the champions, but what joy can you have?  In Matthew 25:19, we are going to break into this parable Jesus gives, but you will understand it as soon as we do.  Matthew 25:19-20:

After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them. And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more.

Jesus gave different talents to different people.  This one turned it into ten, so he doubled the money.  Then in verse 21:

His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things…

And listen to this:

…enter thou into the joy of thy lord.

So what is the parallel here?  What is the parable about?  What is the time period now?  “Enter thou into the joy of thy lord”—what has happened?  This person is no longer on the earth; while he was are on the earth, his five talents were turning into ten.  God gave the Gospel to him.  That person is out there handing out tracts, witnessing, spreading the Word, giving money for the Word to go out—whatever way you can contribute to spreading the Gospel—that person did it and doubled what God had given to him or her. 

Now the end comes and that person is either dead, or now it is the Rapture, and suddenly God says, “Enter thou into the joy of thy lord.”  So now there is the idea of all that joy of the New Heavens and the New Earth, that whole prospect of what you are looking forward to.  It is the joy of perfection, the New Heavens and the New Earth, no more sin, no more sorrow, no more crying, no more tears, no more imperfection.  It is all perfect.  The joy is the prospect of the New Heavens and the New Earth, which should generate enthusiasm and joy in you if you are saved no matter what your earthly circumstance is at the time, either good or bad. 

Do you see why you can be joyful?  “Rejoice evermore,” the Scripture says.  I was questioned, “How can I rejoice evermore?  Things are not always that great.”  I know that, and you will not always feel that joy physically, but emotionally, spiritually, you can if you focus on the New Heavens and the New Earth, the end of it all. 

So in the meantime, if you are saved, that end has not come yet.  Of course the Rapture is not here yet, and you are struggling a little bit.  How do you practice joy?  Here is how.  The Bible tells us you can systemically put yourself in a joyful state, and that is in John 15.  It is a prescription for joy.  In John 15:10-11, Jesus said:

If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love. These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.

What did He just say?  How was that joy going to stay with that person all the time?  If you are habitually doing what in verse 10?  Obeying.  Keeping those commandments.  So the obedience to God’s Word results in, as Jesus told us, the fact that you are going to stay in His joy.  It will remain with you and your joy is going to be even fuller. 

If you want to live a fulfilling life, if you want to feel fulfilled, it is not going to come through the circumstances of your physical well-being.  It is going to be related to the obedience or obeying God’s commandments, keeping them.  He just said that to us, so it is true; it has to be. 

So that is the challenge.  As we obey, we are joyful.  You should be, because the joy of obedience, as we have heard many, many times, is far better than what?  Sin; “the pleasures of sin for a season.”  It really is.  There is nothing like this joy that you get when you realize that you are not missing out.  The next time you feel like, “Boy, obeying is going to cause me to just miss out on something,” believe me, Jesus just told us in John 15 that joy is going to remain with you and be full in you.  You are going to be filled with joy if you obey. 

So that is the challenge, but it is also the promise and the beauty because you are going to feel joy and you are going to let it really fill you up.  God says that your joy will be full when you obey.

So now let us contrast that joy.  The Scriptures do talk about sorrow, and we have experienced sorrow.  We have sorrow frequently, some of us, and others rarely; but nonetheless, it happens.  What does sorrow mean?  What does that word mean to you? 

Sadness is a good synonym for sorrow.  The dictionary says that it is deep distress and regret, for example, over the loss of something that you love.  So, deep distress or regret.  It is interesting that our English definition also includes the word “regret” as sorrow.  Sorrow is an emotion you feel over regret when you lose something.  This happens oftentimes when someone enters into sin for the first time, whatever it might be, and they have great regret after that and it causes sorrow; there is great sorrow.

How do we experience or express sorrow in our lives?  Well, we cry if we have sorrow.  When do we experience it a lot?  Depression, when people feel depressed that they are missing out, or over something that they do not have.  Life is not going well for them or they just have a negative outlook.  How about when someone dies?  That is real common sorrow then, especially for a loved one. 

How about the regret issue though?  Sorrow over regret.  When you hurt someone else and you finally realize it, has that ever caused you sorrow?  You feel horrible when your actions or words hurt someone else and you did not really intend to do that, and then you feel that regret.  But it causes sorrow, too, does it not?

The Bible focuses especially on sorrow over death and then it talks about sorrow over something else.  Let us look at the death one first.  In John 16, the next chapter, John 16:19-22, it says:

Now Jesus knew that they were desirous to ask him, and said unto them, Do ye enquire among yourselves of that I said, A little while, and ye shall not see me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see me? Verily, verily, I say unto you, That ye shall weep and lament…

These are emotions that are tied to sorrow:

…but the world shall rejoice: and ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy. A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world. And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you.

Why were they sorrowful?  Jesus told them that He was going to leave them and they did not want Him to leave.  He was leaving through death and—of course, He knew that they were uncertain—but they were sorrowful at the moment because He was telling them He was going to be going away.  He had to be taken and they were sorrowful because they were going to lose Him, and that caused great sorrow. 

What happens when someone you love lives across the country and they only see you once every two or three years and then they leave?  Usually there are tears the last time you say goodbye because you might call them on the phone the next day but you are not going to see them personally anymore.  A lot of times, there are tears when people break a bond of maybe a week together or whatever it was and then they know that they are not going to have it again for a long time. 

Look at Philippians 2, another one on sorrow.  In Philippians 2:25—and this was something that Paul was speaking about, that sorrow he was going to experience—in Philippians 2:25-27, he says:

Yet I supposed it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother, and companion in labour, and fellowsoldier, but your messenger, and he that ministered to my wants. For he longed after you all, and was full of heaviness, because that ye had heard that he had been sick. For indeed he was sick nigh unto death: but God had mercy on him; and not on him only, but on me also, lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow.

Why did Paul say he was going to have sorrow upon sorrow?  His sorrow was going to be doubled.  Why?  Epaphroditus was sick near unto death and if he would have lost him, Epaphroditus was not only a dear friend, but Epaphroditus had done so much for him and he had ministered to all of his needs and his wants, and he was going to lose a very valuable friend who was such a great asset to him.  But God had mercy and Paul said, “God had mercy and spared his life and me, too.  By not only sparing Epaphroditus, God was merciful to me, too, because He knew how sorrowful I would be if He had taken him at that time.”

So sorrow is an expression that we have when we lose someone or something dear to us or we have regret over something we have done.  We are now going to see this as we turn to one last look at sorrow in the Bible.  It discusses in the Bible the experience of deep distress and regret over one thing in particular, and what do you think that thing is?  Sin.  The Bible really zones in on the need to feel—really, the expectation to be—sorrowful when you sin.  

Let us take a look at 2 Corinthians 2.  This is not as easily discerned when we read through these couple of verses, but I am going to read verses 1-9 and then I am going to ask you what is being talked about in this passage.  Let me read it, 2 Corinthians 2:1-9:

But I determined this with myself, that I would not come again to you in heaviness. For if I make you sorry, who is he then that maketh me glad, but the same which is made sorry by me?

What is he talking about so far?  This is challenging.  Who is being made sorry by him?  Let us keep reading and see:

And I wrote this same unto you, lest, when I came, I should have sorrow from them of whom I ought to rejoice; having confidence in you all, that my joy is the joy of you all. For out of much affliction and anguish of heart I wrote unto you with many tears; not that ye should be grieved, but that ye might know the love which I have more abundantly unto you. But if any have caused grief, he hath not grieved me, but in part: that I may not overcharge you all. Sufficient to such a man is this punishment, which was inflicted of many. So that contrariwise ye ought rather to forgive him, and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one should be swallowed up with overmuch sorrow. Wherefore I beseech you that ye would confirm your love toward him. For to this end also did I write, that I might know the proof of you, whether ye be obedient in all things.

What is he talking about in those nine verses?  There was a sinner in the group, at least one sinner in the group, and he was saying here, “If I make you sorry…”  In other words, how was Paul making that sinner feel sorry?  He was pointing out, he was telling him, that this was sin and it was wrong and he was making it known.  But then he said that “the same which is made sorry by me” should be made glad.  Why? 

The whole point of causing the sorrow, of pointing it out and saying that something is wrong, is that through that sorrow, through feeling sorrow and regret, (remember the word “sorrow” means regret over something that you have done), that person would turn and then be joyful and glad. 

Hopefully, if you are sensitive to God’s Word, are you glad when someone points out a fault to you?  Or do you take it personally and feel all uncomfortable and awkward about it?  You should feel grateful.  What does the Bible say in Proverbs?  “Faithful are the wounds of a friend.”  So when a friend actually wounds you in the sense that they tell you something that kind of hurts but it is true and you needed to hear it, then you should be made glad because now you know and say, “Okay, that has to change and my friend was kind enough to show me that.” 

So that is what is going on here because Paul said, “Through the obedience of you all, ‘I might know the proof of you.’”  This is what he was talking about, obedience.  They were not obeying and they were made sorry because it was pointed out.

The Psalmist said the same thing concerning the regret or sorrow over sinning.  In Psalm 38:17-18, this is a great one here and we read:

For I am ready to halt…

The Psalmist says:

…and my sorrow is continually before me. For I will declare mine iniquity; I will be sorry for my sin.

So the Psalmist was experiencing what in this case?  (This was a Psalm of David.)  He was lamenting, he was in anguish, in sorrow over his sin, and he said here that it “is continually before me” and I am “sorry for my sin.”  He felt horrible when he was thinking on that.  It made him feel horrible.  Who knows what sin it was at the time.  Was it the sin with Bathsheba, or was it any of the others he committed?  Who knows, but he was sorry for his iniquity and sin.

So this is a good emotion to have.  If you sin and do not feel sorry or have regret, there is something wrong with you—meaning, spiritually, that you are not right with God.  This is the lesson.  We should feel sorrow because do any of us go on and not sin anymore after we are saved?  No.

This is why I was asked weeks ago, “How can you feel sorrow and joy at the same time?”  Do you see now why you can feel a lot of sorrow if you sin?  When you sin, you should feel sorry and regret.  It should bother you, in other words.  And yet the joy of salvation and the hope of eternal life, the New Heavens and the New Earth, should also be present; therefore, they can work simultaneously in you.  But when you are sorry, hopefully what result does that usually yield?  Repentance, turning away, getting better, moving forward hopefully in that area. 

James says it in chapter 4; let me read you this.  This is the next-to-last verse we are going to close with today.  James 4:8-10, and he really talks about turning sorrow into joy here.  We read in James 4:8-10: 

Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you…

That word “nigh” means near:

…Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep…

Sounds like you are feeling sorrow.  But:

…let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.

What does repentance mean?  It usually insinuates humility, the turning from it, recognizing that it is wrong and that you are nobody and that you do not need that, you do not deserve that.  There is nothing that should be driving you to do that sin.  You need to just humble yourself before God.  And when you do, He lifts you up. 

When you are lifted up, what is that equivalent to?  What emotion do I feel when I am lifted up?  Joy, joy—you should.  So that humbleness is the idea of “cleanse your hands,” “purify your hearts,” the Bible says.  So it is all part of how more and more obedience leads to more and more joy, less and less sorrow.

Before there can be joy though, what typically comes first?  Typically sorrow when I find out that I am a sinner, when I find out that sin causes me to lose my inheritance of eternal life, when I realize the damage it does to not only me but to other people and that it is in disobedience to God who created me and who deserves far more from me than that.  Then that sorrow hopefully will turn into joy.  But since I am in the flesh, sadly, sin is still going to happen. 

So even after salvation, do you see now how both emotions can reign in your body?  Both joy and sorrow, depending upon whether you are sinning a lot or not, or however much those things are balanced in your life.  When you focus on God and His things and you are actually doing it right, you are feeling joy.  Then all of a sudden you sin and the balance turns the other way.  That is why it is a seesaw.  That is why our emotions can shift a lot. 

In closing, we will go to 2 Corinthians 7, and the Bible says it best.  It underscores what the lesson of sorrow and joy is.  In 2 Corinthians 7:9-10, this is the take-away lesson, the summary of today’s lesson on joy and sorrow:

Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner, that ye might receive damage by us in nothing. For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.

In other words, if “godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of,” you are not going to be sorry when you repent; you will not be sorry you repented.  The godly sorrow then works repentance that leads to joy, and that is the whole point.  So focus on the emotion of sorrow when you do realize there is sin in your life.  Get it out so that you can be full of joy, as Jesus said, “That my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.”  He said to obey what “I have commanded you.” 

May God give us the grace, the strength, to be obedient and to experience joy.  Amen.