Desiring freedom and, hence, joy, is not the cause of joy. Your joy is not possible without your desiring it, yet it is not the cause. The cause is God’s generous love. “Knock and it shall be opened to you.” The knocking does not in and of itself produce the opening, yet the opening will not happen without your freely knocking.
God desired to give you the Holy Spirit before you even knew enough to ask, seek, or knock. He was eagerly awaiting your knock, but it was his idea first. When we do not realize the sheer generosity of God, we feel the need to please him, cajole him, earn his grace, which by definition is not meant to be earned and is never earnable in our poverty of spirit. To receive joy via an illusory manipulation would result in pride–and a denial of God’s preeminent generosity. What an unreality such a “joy” would be grounded in, such that it would necessarily crumble in our grasp.
Therefore your only capacity in this matter of joy is your ability to limit it. How utterly humbling. In your strength is weakness. In your weakness, God’s strength can show forth.
Choose to be weak so God can put his strength into you!
Remember: your desire for joy no more causes you to receive it than the baby’s crying puts its mother’s breast into its hungry mouth. We are that dependent. Reconcile with the idea.
In the discovery of God’s generous plan for us, let us come to realize and be able to exclaim to God, “You are everything I never knew I always wanted!”