On those days when mothering or homeschooling is especially hard, I find myself asking (alright, begging!) God to show me a sliver of joy.
And when I can take a few moments to think through some Bible verses about joy, I feel God’s presence encouraging me, telling me yes, you can keep going… yes, things will be alright.
It’s not that my life suddenly becomes perfect, but a beautiful undercurrent of peace and trust begins to flow. This simple trust leads to a deep abiding joy that cannot be shaken.
Friend, I want to share with you 18 of my favorite bible verses on joy so that you can discover this unshakeable biblical joy too.
How Biblical Joy Brings the Right Perspective
First things first: joy isn’t the same thing as happiness. And that truth is present in each of the Bible scriptures on joy mentioned below.
As we study each of the Bible stories in these verses, we discover that biblical joy has nothing to do with the state of our circumstances, but instead with our choice in how we want to view the situation.
As you and I move through our (very imperfect) lives today, let’s ask ourselves these three questions in order to discover that unshakeable joy of God:
1) What new perspective does he want me to take on the situation?
2) How does He want to encourage me to grow in new areas through what I’m experiencing?
3) How can this situation be used (either right now or in the future) as an encouragement to others (2 Corinthians 1)?
When I challenge myself with these questions (and am reminded again of the deep, truly bottomless love of God), my soul settles a little further into the unexplainable mystery of God’s rich love, peace and joy.
18 Scripture Verses on Joy in the Bible
Joy is found where God is:
“Oh, the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand around with sinners, or join in with mockers.But they delight in the law of the Lord, meditating on it day and night. They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season. Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do.” Psalm 1:1-3
“You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.” Psalm 16:11
“Honor and majesty surround him; strength and joy fill his dwelling.” 1 Chronicles 16:27
Joy is found when we follow God’s truth:
“The commandments of the Lord are right, bringing joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are clear, giving insight for living.” Psalm 19:8
“Joyful are people of integrity, who follow the instructions of the Lord. Joyful are those who obey his laws and search for him with all their hearts. They do not compromise with evil, and they walk only in his paths.” Psalm 119:1-3
“Your regulations remain true to this day, for everything serves your plans. If your instructions hadn’t sustained me with joy, I would have died in my misery. I will never forget your commandments, for by them you give me life. Psalm 119:91-93
“Those who listen to instruction will prosper; those who trust the Lord will be joyful.” Proverbs 16:20
Joy results when we trust God and lean on Him for strength:
“The Lord is my strength and shield. I trust him with all my heart. He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy. I burst out in songs of thanksgiving.” Psalm 28:7
“Those who look to him for help will be radiant with joy; no shadow of shame will darken their faces.” Psalm 34:5
“Those who plant in tears will harvest with shouts of joy.” Psalm 126:5
(Personification of Wisdom speaking) “And so, my children, listen to me, for all who follow my ways are joyful. Listen to my instruction and be wise. Don’t ignore it. Joyful are those who listen to me, watching for me daily at my gates, waiting for me outside my home! For whoever finds me finds life and receives favor from the Lord.” Proverbs 8:32-35
Joy is a valuable gift of God:
“You have given me greater joy than those who have abundant harvests of grain and new wine.” Psalm 4:7
“I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13
Joy can change our difficult circumstances into blessed ones:
“Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.” James 1:2-4
“Our hearts ache, but we always have joy. We are poor, but we give spiritual riches to others. We own nothing, and yet we have everything.” 2 Corinthians 6:10
“Now I want you to know, dear brothers and sisters, what God in his kindness has done through the churches in Macedonia. They are being tested by many troubles, and they are very poor. But they are also filled with abundant joy, which has overflowed in rich generosity.” 2 Corinthians 8:1-3
“We ask God to give you complete knowledge of his will and to give you spiritual wisdom and understanding. Then the way you live will always honor and please the Lord, and your lives will produce every kind of good fruit. All the while, you will grow as you learn to know God better and better. We also pray that you will be strengthened with all his glorious power so you will have all the endurance and patience you need. May you be filled with joy, always thanking the Father.” Colossians 1:9-12
“And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people; then you won’t become weary and give up.” Hebrews 12:1-2
Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
Discovering the Joy of God in Any Situation
I am so grateful that God has left us with encouraging words–His words–about the lasting joy. I cling to these scriptural truths when I am need of soul replenishment.They remind me that my situation has less to do with what’s happening, than with what He can do through it.
They also remind me that staying absolutely close to Him during this time–through confession, pouring my heart to Him and filling my mind with his promises–are critical aspects to a joy-filled life.
Call upon His name today, and let these bible verses about joy fill your soul in new and wonderful ways!
Additional Resources on Finding Lasting Joy:
Are you interested in learning more about how to experience a truly joy-filled life in the middle of the (often very) chaotic homeschooling journey?
Join us for my powerful “bloom: A Journey to Joy (and Sanity) for Homeschool Moms” online video course! This eight-class course contains eight 20-minute pre-recorded videos and 88 pages of incredible charts, journaling prompts and other resources to help you develop a realistic, customizable plan to growing in authentic joy. We tackle the biggest obstacles to homeschooling joy while discovering small shifts that you can make today toward becoming a more healthy, whole homeschooling mama. And with school winding down, summer is a great time to get this replenishment!
Although registration for this course is currently closed until Spring 2016, you can get on the list to be notified of when registration opens!
This post is part of a group post by other iHomeschool Network bloggers sharing their most inspiring Bible verses. Click here to read even more encouraging words from the Scriptures!
How have you been able to discover biblical joy during especially difficult moments? Which of these Bible verses on joy spoke to you the most and why?