The Secret of Joy: Psalm 126, by Josh Moody, Senior Pastor of College Church, at Bible Study Tools
When the LORD brought back the captive ones of Zion, We were like those who dream. Then our mouth was filled with laughter And our tongue with joyful shouting; Then they said among the nations,"The LORD has done great things for them." The LORD has done great things for us; We are glad. Restore our captivity, O LORD, As the streams in the South. Those who sow in tears shall reap with joyful shouting. He who goes to and fro weeping, carrying his bag of seed, Shall indeed come again with a shout of joy, bringing his sheaves with him.
"Spurgeon was once criticized for putting too much laughter into his sermons. Frivolous. Lacking gravity. His reply to the woman who had button-holed him was classic: “My good lady, if you only knew how much I restrain myself.” This psalm shows us not only that “laughter” (Psalms 126:2) and God go together but also God and “joy” (Psalms 126:2-6). This psalm is written to help you discover the secret of joy..."
"...When the psalm refers to joy, it does not mean the tendency that some people have, because of their temperament, to be happier than other people. For one reason or another there appear to be people who are more naturally wired to smile, who can wake up in the morning singing a cheery song, and who look at their breakfast cereal and simply clap their hands with delight. You may feel sympathy with the Snoopy T-Shirt that was popular when Charlie Brown was all the rage—“I hate people who sing in the morning”—but then others get up early because they like it. Some people are morning people, some people are evening people, and some people seem to feel happier than others. They are wired that way. However, the joy here is not this matter of temperament.
"Nor is this joy about faking it, the sort of pretend joy that plasters a smile on your face while inside you growl. Nor is it imposing joy on others by going up to someone who that moment discovered his best friend had a car accident and telling him to “rejoice in the Lord always,” to which the understandable reply might be, “Let me punch you in the nose and see how much rejoicing you’re doing then.” Nor is it the deep Christian joy that is so deep—soooo deep—that to find it you practically have to set up an oil well. Drilling, drilling, deeper, deeper, deeper. Ah, we have struck oil; there is a smile down there; it was deep Christian joy."