20 Scriptures About Joy

choose joy sign on fence

Writing this post took me by surprise, as I would not have said that I lacked joy. But I guess I was in need of a refresher, and I hope and pray that you will be as blessed and refreshed by reading these Scriptures about joy as I have been by choosing them.

What Does the Bible Say About Joy?

There is much said about joy in the Bible, plenty of reasons for and ways to find the joy God wants for us to have. 

The Bible contains hundreds of references to joy and being joyful. God wants us to be joyful – no matter what. He commands us to rejoice and makes promises to us about when we do.

Christian joy is a good feeling in the soul, produced by the Holy Spirit, as he causes us to see the beauty of Christ in the word and in the world. 

John Piper

What Is Biblical Joy?

Joy to a Christian has a different meaning than it does to the rest of the world because we, as believers, have what the world does not have:  

  1. We have the One and only God, who created us and provided the way for us to be saved. He is good with a goodness that grows in our understanding as we mature as Christians. 
  2. We have Jesus, who died to save the souls of everyone who accepts Him as Savior, who has made a way for us to spend eternity, after earthly death, in paradise.
  3. We have the Holy Spirit, who lives in each of us, giving us guidance and direction, and even expressing to Jesus the prayers we don’t know how to pray.

For further reading try What the Bible Says About Happiness And Joy.

The Christian’s Reasons For Joy

  1. God expects us to rejoice. He says the seas, the fields, and the trees resound, exult, and shout for joy because the Lord is coming. He gives us each day, new every morning. He has put the breath in our lungs.
  1. We don’t need to worship anything or anyone but the Lord God. He alone is the majestic King over all, and he gives us strength and joy in his presence. Worshiping God out loud is so invigorating and inspiring. We are told to make a joyful noise unto Him and to come before Him with joyful songs. Knowing who He is and what He has done for us is reason enough for joyful worship, no matter what troubles we may be experiencing. Our worship gives Him glory, and that is our first priority, what we were made for.
  1. God leads us and shows us the way we should go. He is our Helper, and He gets us through the shadows, the sleepless nights, the grief, and all of our rough times, bringing us into a place where we can again feel joy. Bringing our fears and anxieties to the Lord can result in such comfort. We can rejoice because He can calm our hearts like nothing else.  
  1. Jesus Himself encouraged His people to ask in prayer. When we believe, and come to Him asking, we will receive. When we look back on our days and our prayers, we can see the things God has done for us. It’s so easy to see a miracle and attribute it to coincidence, or even give Him praise but shortly forget the joy we felt at His working in that situation. As life goes on and we are presented with more difficulties, we should be able to look back and be joyful for what He did in the past, even as we ask Him to do it again. He never tires of our asking.
  1. God has given us the Bible, His written Word, to guide and teach and convict us. We can be so thankful that we have so much of His heart in writing. Jesus gave us the living example of obedience to God. If we follow His example and stay under the protection of God’s commands, we will receive the gift of complete joy. He tells us to be joyful in the hope that we have in Him. He is with us even when we are afflicted, and His presence gives us the hope we need, and fills us with joy and peace.
  1. We are to be thankful in joy because God is good and his love is so faithful that it endures forever. Strong and mighty Warrior that He is, He actually delights over us, His children. He loves us and tenderly sings over us. 

Bible Verses About Joy

I make special note of the Psalms in relation to joy. The writers of the Psalms looked to God as a confidant. In these writings, we can see many extreme emotions – grief, fear, loneliness, and even feelings of desperation, anger, and hate. But when we read through the Psalms, we can see how God allowed these psalmists to express all of these emotions, and more, to Him, and how He is able to turn hearts to joy because of His goodness and faithfulness. We too can and should take our emotions to Him to allow Him to work in our hearts and to show us the joy that is found in His presence. 

I’ve listed the following Scriptures about joy in chronological order through the Bible. They are from the CSB version unless otherwise stated.

1 Chronicles 16:26-27

For all the gods of the peoples are worthless idols, but the Lord made the heavens. Splendor and majesty are before Him; strength and joy are in His place. 

1 Chronicles 16:32-34

Let the sea and all that fills it resound; let the fields and everything in them exult. Then the trees of the forest will shout for joy before the Lord, for He is coming to judge the earth. Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his faithful love endures forever. 

Nehemiah 8:9-10

Nehemiah the governor, Ezra, the priest and scribe, and the Levites who were instructing the people said to all of them, “This day is holy to the Lord your God. Do not mourn or weep.” For all the people were weeping as they heard the words of the law. Then he said to them, “Go and eat what is rich, drink what is sweet, and send portions to those who have nothing prepared, since today is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, because the Joy of the Lord is your strength. 

(This passage shows joy in rediscovering God’s Word. The people had been far from God for many years, and as they rediscovered His Word when it was read to them, they cried with regret. Nehemiah told them not to weep but to rejoice and celebrate, because the joy of the Lord is our strength.) 

Psalm 16:11

You reveal the path of life to me; in Your presence is abundant joy; at your right hand are eternal pleasures. 

Psalm 21:6

You give him blessing forever, you cheer him with joy in Your presence. 

Psalm 30:4-5

Sing to the Lord, you his faithful ones, and praise his holy Name. For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor, a lifetime. Weeping may stay overnight, but there is joy in the morning. 

Psalm 63:6-8

When I think of you as I lie on my bed, I meditate on You during the night watches because you are My helper; I will rejoice in the shadow of Your wings. I follow close to you; your right hand holds onto me. 

Psalm 92:4

For you have made me rejoice, Lord, by what you have done; I will shout for joy because of the works of your hands. 

Psalm 94:19 (NIV)

When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy. 

Psalm 100: 1-2 (NIV)

Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.  Worship the Lord with gladness; come before Him with joyful songs. 

Psalm 118:24

This is the day the Lord has made; let’s rejoice and be glad in it. 

Psalm 119:111 (GW)

Your written instructions are mine forever. They are the joy of my heart. 

Jeremiah 31:13b (NIV)

I will turn their mourning into gladness; I will give them comfort and joy instead of sorrow. 

Zephaniah 3:17

The Lord your God is among you, a warrior who saves. He will rejoice over you with gladness. He will be quiet in his love. He will delight in you with singing. 

John 15:10-11

If you keep My commands you will remain in my love, just as I have kept My Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you these things so that my joy may be in you and your joy may be complete. 

John 16:24

Until now you have asked for nothing in my Name. Ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be complete. 

Romans 12:12

Rejoice in hope; be patient in affliction; be persistent in prayer. 

Romans 15:13

Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you believe so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. 

Galatians 5:22-23

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. The law is not against such things. 

Philippians 4:4

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!

Getting The Most Out Of These Scriptures About Joy

Joy is a natural result of all that God has done for us. If you’re struggling to experience joy, spend some time meditating on these Scriptures about joy, and on the God who inspired the writing of them. Maybe write out one of them during your devotions each day, and even look up cross-references to see what else the Bible has to say to you that day. God speaks to us through various avenues, including the Bible, prayer, and personal experiences. 

The Holy Spirit gives us joy, as one of the nine fruits of the Spirit. These qualities come as we mature in our faith, and the fruit we bear means the results that show in us and in the lives we live. So, joy is a result of living a faithful life. When we bear the fruit of joy, it will be evident to those we come in contact with. If you find yourself joyless, you can ask in prayer, read the Word, and look back in remembrance of where He has brought you from. 

What is He teaching you today?

20 Scriptures About Joy

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