bible verses about joy

30 Uplifting Bible Verses about Joy

Joy is a gift from the Lord, and these 30 scriptures on joy will help you to really embrace that gift, cherish it and experience the joy of the Lord. Read on for scripture-based motivation and encouragement!

What is the Joy of the Lord and how do we experience it? In this world there are so many things we experience that seek to rob us of the joy that passes all understanding, the joy that only comes from the Lord. There are so many bible verses about joy to encourage us, but often we choose to wallow if you will in the “unhappy” feelings.

We complain with our friends about our situations. We feel anxious but allow unwholesome and depressing “entertainment” to flood our eyes and ears.

Joy is a gift from the Lord, and these uplifting bible verses about joy will help you to really embrace that gift, cherish it and to live a joyful life.

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What does the Bible say about Joy?

Joy is mentioned in the King James Version of the bible 155 times. A quick reference study of the word using a bible concordance gives the following definitions: (A)  mirth, gladness, gaiety, pleasure; (B) Joy (of God); (C) glad result, happy issue.

But what does this all mean? Well, we see also that the joy is listed in Galatians 5:22-23 as one of the fruits of the spirit, an outward sign that you are trying to live a life after the heart of God. So we can assume that the spiritual meaning of joy is less of an emotion you have and more of a state of being stemming from something that God has given. When you have joy, you may feel happy, but you can also have joy despite hard circumstances (joy in suffering).

Because joy is a gift given from God, its not something that can easily be taken away from you, however, you can give it away, so we must be conscious to guard our joy, and to walk in it understanding the fullness of what it is in our lives.

As mentioned earlier there are 155 scriptures on joy in the KJV of the bible and nearly 270 times in the New Living Translation. With this many uses of the word, it’s safe to say that our understanding of joy is important to God.

Bible verses about joy come in many different forms and varieties. Many are also attached to other feelings. This makes us realize that joy in the bible isn’t a stagnant state. In fact, it is quite the opposite. It is fluid and dynamic. You can have joy and also feel pain. You can have joy and feel thankful. The following scriptures on joy will dig deeper into the many faces of true joy.

Uplifting Scriptures on joy and happiness

This first set of my favorite bible verses on biblical joy digs into the most easily understandable explanation of joy and its relationship to happiness. Feeling happy is something we have all experienced whether for long term time periods of short bursts. We have felt the exciting sunshining feelings of happiness. These uplifting bible verses about joy and happiness are sure to bring a smile to your face.

John 15:10-12

 If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full. “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.

Romans 15:13

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.

1 John 1:4

And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.

Philippians 2:2

complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.

John 16:24

Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.

Habukkuk 3:18

yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation.

Psalm 32:11

Be glad in the Lord, and rejoice, O righteous, and shout for joy, all you upright in heart!

Psalm 43:4

Then I will go to the altar of God, to God my exceeding joy, and I will praise you with the lyre, O God, my God.

Psalm 19:8

the precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes;

Psalm 16:11

You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

Proverbs 17:22

A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.

Bible verses about joy and thankfulness

One of the ways to grow in pure joy and to fully embrace the gift of joy that God gives us is to have a heart of gratitude. Many times bible verses about joy include both words of joy and words of thanks. When we have a heart that is set on praising the Lord, we can often not help but be wrapped up in joy that comes from him.

This is why joy can not be taken from us. Because our joy comes from one who is eternal. Our joy is in the fact that we serve a living God who is available to us and cares for us. The following bible verses about joy and thankfulness should encourage you to live a life that seeks God in all things and praises him for his goodness.

Romans 14:17

For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

We are grateful for the things that we have, but our biggest blessing is found in our father in heaven and his great love for us. So we should always focus on those things.

Jeremiah 15:16

Your words were found, and I ate them, and your words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart, for I am called by your name, O Lord, God of hosts.

Again, our joy is found in the word of the Lord. It is consistent, steadfast, and longlasting. It is the bread of life and what sustains us with joy.

Proverbs 23:24

The father of the righteous will greatly rejoice; he who fathers a wise son will be glad in him.

Psalm 98:4

Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth; break forth into joyous song and sing praises!

Galatians 5:22-23

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

Isaiah 65:18

But be glad and rejoice forever  in that which I create; for behold, I create Jerusalem to be a joy, and her people to be a gladness.

2 Corinthians 4:15

For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.

Colossians 1:12

giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.

Hebrews 12:28

Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe,

1 Chronicles 16:32-34

Let the sea roar, and all that fills it; let the field exult, and everything in it! Then shall the trees of the forest sing for joy before the Lord, for he comes to judge the earth. Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever!

Encouraging Bible verses about joy in suffering

This at first glance seems like an oxymoron. How can you experience joy when you are in the midst of suffering or difficult circumstances. Well this 100 percent depends on where you place your hope. When you hope is in the world and the things that the world can give you, then you are always going to be disappointment, and there is no hope for better than the current state of your circumstances.

When instead you are placing your hope in God, well there is no choice but better. Because our hope is in a God who loves us so much that he sent his son to die on a cross for you and me. That death and subsequent resurrection means that you and I have access to everlasting joy. We have the ability to be with God in his presence forever because of our belief in Jesus.

So joy in suffering doesn’t negate the fact that the presence situation may hurt, in fact it fully acknowledges that as fact. But in spite of that, the joy of the Lord says I will praise him anyhow and I will not sacrifice my joy for this temporary moment. These scripture quotes on joy in difficult times will remind you that in God’s presence there is much joy!

John 16:22

So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you.

As Jesus was preparing for his ascent, he encouraged his disciples and us in the fact that there is better to hope for and because of that, our joy is forever.

1 Peter 1:6

In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials,

This uplifting bible verse encourages you to keep pressing forward because we will come to a time when we can rejoice with gladness and joy, even though at the moment we may be distressed.

Psalm 51:12

Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.

This verse on joy is a plea to God to return us to joy when we have sacrificed it and taken on the weight of the world.

Ecclesiastes 7:3

Sorrow is better than laughter, for by sadness of face the heart is made glad.

Proverbs 14:13

Even in laughter the heart may ache, and the end of joy may be grief.

2 Corinthians 7:4

I am acting with great boldness toward you; I have great pride in you; I am filled with comfort. In all our affliction, I am overflowing with joy.

Romans 5:3-5

Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

James 1:2-4

 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

1 Peter 4:13

But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed.

Psalm 30:5

For his anger is but for a moment, and his favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.

This is probably the most well recognized bible verse about joy in suffering. It is a call to stand strong. It’s an acknowledgment that there may be trials in this life and you may be experiencing them in this moment. But is also an inspiration and an encouragement of the joy that is to come in Christ Jesus.

How to live a joyful life

The best way to live a more joy filled life is cultivating a habit of seeking God in everything. This takes a little practice and a lot of diligence. You must learn to turn off the noise and fix your eyes constantly on him to fully embrace the gift of joy he can give.

What does fixing your eyes on Jesus look like? It looks like consistency and communion. It looks a lot like building a relationship. Participating in the everyday moments of your life alongside God and being expectant of the miracle of his hand. Some practical steps to doing this include:

  • Put Jesus into your everyday life by verbally welcoming him into the moment.
  • Connect with God everyday by setting prayer journal dates.
  • Know God is with you.
  • Renew your mind by reading God’s word and refraining from unwholesome influences.
  • Remove distractions and situations that cause you to sacrifice joy
  • Pray early and start your morning with prayer.
  • Pray often by extending the habit of morning prayer to prayer that is consistent throughout your day
  • Listen to worship music
  • Consider trying a Christian podcast
  • Practice gratitude – and thank God for the blessings in your life.
  • Disconnect and take time daily to disconnect from the chatter around you.
  • Godly Friendships
  • Serve Others and shifting focus from yourself to the needs of others.

Seeing God in the everyday moments and experiencing him actively as you go through your days is an excellent way to really experience the Joy of the Lord despite your situation.

Where does you joy come from?

My prayer is that these uplifting verses about joy encourage you to walk in gladness with the gift of joy that your father in heaven has given to you. May you seek him in moments when you feel on the verge of giving your joy away and may you praise him with joy when his mighty hand is presented active in your life.

Whether you are in the midst of a storm, or enjoying a mountaintop experience I encourage you to constantly check in with your heart, mind, and motives with this simple question, “How am I embracing and expressing joy today?”

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