Why does sin kill joy?

Joy is the second gift of the Holy Spirit mentioned by Apostle Paul. Indeed, joy is a righteous deed, a Godly deed, a holy deed. “For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit (Romans 14:17)” - the Apostle says. We were directly given a commandment: “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” (Philippians 4:4)  

The Holy Bible appeals to all of us to rejoice. Despondency is a sin. You can find it hard to understand just as with the command to love. Joy is an emotion, a feeling that we would be glad to experience, but we cannot. Joy does not have a power button; otherwise, we would be pressing it all the time. People even try to receive joy by drinking alcohol or taking drugs. However, it is impossible to say that we cannot have joy at all. No one can have ripe crops on their field - they have to work hard, plant seeds, dig weeds. In order to receive joy you have to be patient and resilient. You have to grow it as we grow a plant; and it is important here is that you don’t kill it.

The paradox of our fallen nature is that we are so desperate to be happy, but we do everything not to be. It is the same with joy - we wish to have joy in our lives, but we do everything to kill it. Sin kills joy; and the best example will be again alcohol and drugs that do not really bring joy to our lives. After a short euphoria there’s a deep emotional breakdown. Those who advise to drink alcohol in order to drown one’s despair are terribly wrong - the number of suicides committed under the influence of alcohol is much higher. Alcohol deepens a sense of despair and makes people feel complete hopelessness. But it works in the same with any other sin - you think that you’ll be happy - that money you stole or fornication you committed will make you happy - but, again, it proves to be wrong. It is often said that Christianity deprives people of “simple pleasures of life”. But it’s just the opposite - being a Christian means to reject oneself from what kills joy.

Discontent is one of the sins that destroys joy right away. We pour out angry complaints to God, people, circumstances, and we are constantly grumbling at everything, that made us feel insulted and disadvantaged. The paradox of a constantly complaining man is that he grumbles about his own unhappiness, but he cannot be happy because of his complaints. No changes of his life circumstances could help him - he who complains that their porridge is too thin, will also complain that their diamonds are too small. Joy will never abandon humble and grateful hearts - as the Apostle says: “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).

The other killer of joy is anger, rage and judgment towards others. Look at the social networks - people are sometimes angry and depressed there.
Repentance is a way to receive joy. You should acknowledge your sins, confess them and then do your best to change your life. When we are mad at other people's sins, we become even more despondent; but when we see our own sins and repent of them - we change ourselves and receive joy. We become fertile ground for cultivating joy. It’s not enough to only remove yourself from what kills joy, we should approach the One, Who is the creator of it - God the Holy Spirit. We should be looking for Him in prayer - personal or church prayer, and especially in the Holy Mysteries of the Church.

Joy is connected with gratitude and hope. Joy is when we know something good, something very good. Something that is so beautiful and comforting, that we not dare to believe in it, though we know that it is true. Christ says to the Apostles that they should rejoice because their names are written in Heaven.

In the very core of our personality, much deeper than any problems of life, we have hope and joy - and we know what is the first and last truth about reality. God is love, His love will win, His divine providence leads us to His Kingdom. Here, on Earth, we can only have foreknowledge of the true joy. As Saint Seraphim of Sarov says, “Once I was praying to God that I could be closer to Him and so that He could show me His Heavenly Kingdom. And God showed His mercy on me. He made my wish come true. And I was ascended into His Kingdom, though I do not know whether with my body or not. God knows - it is beyond understanding. And that joy of Heaven that I experienced can not be described… If only you could know what joy a holy man would experience in Heaven, you would choose to live through all sorrows, persecutions and slander of our earthly life with gratitude… There is no sufferings, no grieves, no weeping… There is joy and delight that can not be expressed, the righteous will see the glory of God. But if even the Apostle Paul could not describe such heavenly glory, then how other man’s language could express glory and beauty of Heavenly Kingdom, in which the souls of the righteous will settle”.

A little kid, who knows that his parents will pick him up from school and drive him to the seaside - he is already thinking of sand and waves and of huge southern stars. A Christian, who knows that God leads him to the New Jerusalem, is already there in his thoughts, and “with fear and great joy” is awaiting for his coming back home. As Saint Ephraim the Syrian said: “Repentance means awe in front of the gates of Heaven”. The source of this joy and awe is our knowledge of presence of God, who became a man to save us, and who always cares of our everlasting joy. As it is written in one of the famous poems of Vladimir Solovyov:

He is here, now, - among the casual bustle,
In the turbid flood of life’s alarm.
You rule with an all-joyful mystery,
Evil is impotent; we - eternal, God - with us!

Translated from the following source: http://foma.ru/pochemu-greh-ubivaet-radost.html