Life is full of reasons to be joyous. These Bible verses about Joy are perfect for understanding why God has given us these wonderful gifts.
Though some people might think the life of a Christian is boring and entails only a struggle to do good, they are unaware that it really consists of a joy that surpasses understanding.
A review of the Scriptures reveals that God wants us to be joyful in our relationship with him. We have gathered together 20 scriptures on joy for your use that are perfect for inclusion in greeting cards, letters, Bible studies, or Sunday school lessons.
Table of contents
20 Bible Verses about Joy
“Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory,”
“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.”
“But now I am coming to you, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves.”
“Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and joy are in his place.”
“These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.”
“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.”
“For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.”
“The hope of the righteous brings joy, but the expectation of the wicked will perish.”
“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds,”
“I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.”
“And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you received the word in much affliction, with the joy of the Holy Spirit,”
“For our heart is glad in him, because we trust in his holy name.”
“Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.”
“And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.”
“And they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy”
“And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.””
“He who goes out weeping, bearing the seed for sowing, shall come home with shouts of joy, bringing his sheaves with him.”
“And all the people went up after him, playing on pipes, and rejoicing with great joy, so that the earth was split by their noise.”
“Just so, I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,”
Rejoice! Check out these 50 inspirational bible verse pictures →
What do these Scriptures on Joy teach us?
With all the Bible verses about joy in the Scriptures, it seems as if joy is one of the main functions of everything related to God. It even says that joy is with him in his dwelling place.
The angels announcing the birth of Christ spoke of the joy that was coming with that birth.
Once we become a Christian, the Bible speaks of the inexpressible joy that reigns in our hearts and minds by means of the Holy Spirit who indwells us. God wants us to have joy fulfilled within ourselves and wants our joy to be complete.
Even in times of sorrow, these Scriptures about joy tell us to be patient with the promise that we will later rejoice and that nobody will be able to take that future joy away from us. We are told that it is our hope and trust in God that brings joy. Joy is the fruit of the Spirit.
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A Prayer About My Joy
Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you? Show us your unfailing love, O Lord, and grant us your salvation. Psalm 85:6-7
Dear Father, once again I begin a day thankful for the honesty, reality and candor of your Word. I am strangely comforted that the Scriptures are full of people like me-believers that are in constant need of what you alone can give. So many of your sons and daughters, throughout the history of redemption, give voice to my heart’s cry and longings. Today I’m thinking about my need for gospel-renewal and restored joy.
When I hear the Apostle Paul ask believers in Galatia (4:16), “What has happened to all your joy?”, I’m not sure how I’d answer. Have I fallen back into legalism? Am I filled with unbelief? Am I looking for joy somewhere else? Have I hoarded my hurts and wounds from you? Am I angry at you and don’t want to admit it? I’m not sure how or where my heart began to leak or lose its gospel felicity and childlike spontaneity, but I join the psalmist’s cry, “Will you not revive us again that your people, (that I) may rejoice in you?”
Father since your joy is my strength (Nehemiah 8:10), then cause my heart muscle to beat afresh with the joy which fills heavens courts, I pray! Holy Spirit, since joy, is one of the fruit you grow in the lives the children of God, then weed, prune and fertilize my heart for a fresh crop. Jesus, since you are praying that I would experience the fullness of your joy (John 17:13), then I will live with anticipation and hope, for your prayers never fail!
Glorious Triune God, continue to open the eyes of my heart to the unfailing, unflappable and unlimited love you have for me, and the whole Bride of Jesus, in the gospel. For there is no joy if there is no gospel. There is only episodic happiness and superficial relief.
Indeed, Jesus, though I have never seen you with my naked eye, I do love you, and I love you only because you first loved me. I do believe in you, because you gave me the faith to believe in you… now fill me afresh with an inexpressible and glorious joy as you continue to work your salvation throughout my whole being, and the entire cosmos (1 Pet. 1:8-9). So gratefully I ask, Amen!
Today I feel compelled to talk about joy which might have something to do with my latest blog post, about depression, that I shared on Facebook, to 566 friends. I’m still trying to convince myself it was a good idea.
Speaking of ideas that are good, I’m thinking of getting a tattoo around my 40th birthday. I am leaning toward the word JOY; not as a reminder to have joy, but as a reminder that God is the source of joy. I find joy in my family and in my friends too and even in the little things like chai tea lattes and pomegranate lip balm. But more specifically, it will be a reminder of a time when God blessed me with unexpected joy.
Sound strange? It should, because it was.
I find joy in blogging too. It is a good form of therapy, a way to use my words without driving the hubs crazy. At times, it is rewarding, especially when someone reaches out and says thank you for sharing. That’s what makes being vulnerable a little more worth it. It makes me want to keep sharing without being concerned with the wrong things or ashamed of my broken places. For it’s in those broken places God has revealed himself the most. It’s in him I find freedom from such things as guilt, shame and unexplained sadness, but today is not about sadness.
Today is about JOY.
So what is JOY? The meaning of joy is a tricky one to dissect because there are many ways to explain joy. I like how John Piper talks about the definition of joy. He says it “is a good feeling in the soul produced by the Spirit.” If you search the internet, you will find a ton of quotes about joy. I could do without the ones that infuse guilt. For example, “joy is what happens when we allow ourselves to recognize how good things really are.” True, but that one probably won’t help a friend who is down in the dumps. “Choose Joy” is a great concept, but it doesn’t work, at least not for me. It’s much easier to choose food or shopping or sleep or TV . . . what is your or?
Helen Keller refers to joy as “the holy fire that keeps our purpose warm and our intelligence aglow.” Too deep? She also said, “we can never learn to be brave and patient if there is only joy in the world.” I would much prefer to learn about joy from someone who struggled, I mean really struggled. Physically, she couldn’t see, hear or speak. But mentally and spiritually, she could see, hear and speak better than most! Helen Keller never ceases to amaze me.
Mother Teresa also has some wise words about joy, which makes sense, being that she is the mother of really good quotes. She said, “Joy is prayer; joy is strength; joy is love; a net of love in which you can catch souls.” I like it so much it may end up on my refrigerator (see, easier to choose food). In case you missed that…
Joy is PRAYER. Joy is STRENGTH. Joy is LOVE, a net of love you can catch SOULS.
Okay, so this story about joy…
I remember feeling discouraged the week leading up to the youth winter camp. My role was to co-lead a small group of high school girls, but I was exhausted and had a terrible week. (I am a substitute teacher, need I say more?) I wanted nothing more than to back out of all my commitments, especially as a leader at camp. I thought there is no way I should be going on this trip. These girls need someone who is able to offer them guidance. I don’t feel strong enough to lead. I was beyond tired and frustrated with life. But of course, I was glad I went. For one, youth camp is awesome; two, I love teenagers; and three, lives were changed.
On the last night of camp, after the message, the band led students into a time of worship. The youth were encouraged to ask for prayer, if they felt they needed it. I went around and prayed for a few of the girls. Tears were falling, hearts were breaking and yet, God was still working. A middle school boy came to camp with a broken foot and left without using his crutches. I hate to admit it, but I had my doubts. Later, an x-ray confirmed it was no longer broken.
Sometimes God heals and sometimes He doesn’t.
As worship continued, I needed prayer too. I sat down and asked God to send someone to pray for me. No one came. I realized I was going to have to ask for it. I approached the youth pastor in the back. I said I needed prayer. A few of the leaders gathered, as did the speaker, Ryan Kim. He asked me how they were to pray. I told him my heart was heavy; that sometimes it’s due to depression but maybe this was more like oppression. I didn’t know. It didn’t matter. I was weary. I told him I just wanted to experience joy.
He put his hand on my shoulder while a few others followed suit. No one did anything weird. They simply prayed, but first he asked for my name. I said Julianne. He smiled and said, Julianne? He smiled some more, repeating himself. Julianne? Almost as if he were saying, how can you not have joy with a name like Julianne? He began to pray for me while the band was still playing, students still singing and some still praying.
I remember him saying something about confessing my sins, and in my heart I did. I mumbled it under my breath too, asking God to forgive me for the things that shouldn’t be in my heart and to get a handle on my tongue. He asked God to give me a heart of worship; a new song in my heart. He said a lot of other things that I just don’t remember, but as he continued to pray, I began to smile. I couldn’t stop smiling, even though I tried. I still find it strange today, but God replaced my heavy heart with unexpected joy.
Prayer is powerful and God is good.
After worship ended, I went back to the cabin with the girls where we spent time praying, but mostly just talking. Some of these girls were really hurting. While we sat on our beds, one of the girls asked to borrow my phone. I handed it to her. She dialed a number and then left a message. She said: Hi Dad. I love you. She began to cry, then hung up the phone. She said it was the first time she told him in ten years. I climbed onto her bed and held her like she was my own.
If we don’t experience heartache, we might miss out on what it’s like to be comforted. If we don’t experience brokenness, we might miss out on what it’s like to have reconciliation. If we don’t experience weariness, we might miss out on what it’s like to appreciate joy. I grew up in church with the understanding that joy doesn’t equal happiness and it’s true, it doesn’t always, but sometimes it does.