It was during those months that my Dad was bouncing from Nursing Home to Nursing Home with brief hospital stays in between, that I began to understand what that joy really felt like. I realized that one can only experience the Joy of the Lord when we find ourselves solely dependent on the Lord.
Our Joy comes from being satisfied in God. Loving God more than anything in the world, and being content in what God has done in our lives, is a great way to cultivate Joy in our lives. And God's Joy will give us comfort and strength in our time of need. It is for this reason that those who trust in God can still "sing for joy" when faced with trials and sorrows.
One needs to remember though that Joy is never at the expense of reverence. Psalm 2:11 commands us to "Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling." Our joy is never an excuse to approach the throne of God with anything other than great reverence and awe.