19 Joy Bible Verses for Chronic Illness Sufferers

If you or someone you love face chronic illness, you know that the daily toll of an ongoing sickness can easily diminish anyone’s joy. Thankfully, the Bible has much to say about joy despite suffering, and that’s why I’ve put together these Bible verses on joy through chronic illness.

My husband suffers from chronic illness, and because of this, our family has had to learn how to discover real joy through all circumstances too. I want you to know that you’re not alone as you suffer with illness, and that yes, authentic joy is possible.

Whether you’re a chronic illness sufferer yourself (or perhaps your husband or child deals with chronic illness), here are some comforting, encouraging biblical promises that God has for those who suffer through chronic pain.

I also want to give you a free Bible study bookmark so that you can get the most out of these Bible verses with encouragement during illness.

Click here to download this free resource.

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Even if God doesn’t grant you physical healing, yes, you can have authentic spiritual joy despite suffering with ongoing sickness! Our family is a testimony of that.

Let me encourage you with these awesome Bible verses for healing, joy and comfort for those who are living with chronic illness.

P.S. If you’d like to learn an easy method to study Bible verses, I highly recommend this post.

Tough Questions About Joy That Chronic Illness Sufferers Must Face

Before I share these Bible verses about joy, it’s important that we address the unique and difficult spiritual questions chronic illness sufferers and their loved ones face because these questions often keep chronic illness sufferers from experiencing true spiritual joy.

Besides physical pain, chronic pain sufferers face a slew of emotional and spiritual dilemmas, such as:

  • Why is God allowing this pain to continue? If he has the power to heal me, why doesn’t He do it?
  • How am I supposed to keep up with my responsibilities as a mom (or wife, or employee) when I must battle chronic pain?
  • How can I keep a joyful spirit through the difficulties of this ongoing sickness? How can I keep this physical pain from turning inward into depression and even anger about my situation (and anger at God)?

Honestly, these are deep, huge questions that can’t be solved with a single blog post. Every person must walk their own road to discovering joy despite chronic illness (here’s part of our story).

But, the main thing I want you to know is that joy is possible, even through chronic illness. Truly.

As I share the following scripture verses on joy, I’m going to what we’ve learned about joy as my husband and I live with the effects of his ongoing sickness (Type 1 Diabetes). I encourage you to take what we’ve learned about joy through suffering and apply it to your situation.

Bottom line: The number one way my husband and I have found peace, encouragement and joy through the road of chronic illness is through an authentic relationship with God.

Should Physical Healing from Illness Be Our Main Goal?

Of course physical healing would make life more pleasurable for those of us who deal with chronic pain.

But honestly, I’d argue that physical healing shouldn’t be our main goal as chronic illness sufferers. Instead, we need to focus on spiritual healing for two reasons:

  • Godly joy is possible at all times (whether physical healing comes or not);
  • God longs to introduce us to the deepest, most joy-filled aspects of life (John 10:1), and quite often, those paths to rich, joyful living start in pain and suffering.

Even if God never grants you physical healing (and a cure is not possible), friend, let me share with you how these biblical promises can bring authentic spiritual joy despite ongoing pain.

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19 Bible Verses About Joy Through Chronic Illness

There’s so many joy bible verses that can bring encouragement for chronic illness sufferers! I’ve grouped them into 10 topics below.

1.We must start with the truth that God loves us. Always.

During all painful situations (especially ones that require endurance and long suffering such as chronic illness), we must start with the foundational truth that God is pure love.

It’s a love that doesn’t make sense to us (described in Eph 3:16-19 as “too great to understand fully”), and honestly, that’s OK! We don’t have to fully understand God’s love to be able to benefit from it.

We must stop thinking that “If God really loved me, then He’d heal me from this disease.” I’m telling you, that lie will steal your joy in a heartbeat. Don’t go there!

Even when the physical and emotional pain comes from suffering with chronic illness, we cannot let these emotions confuse us into thinking that God doesn’t love us. We must understand that emotions are just emotions, and God’s love is truth.

Although God allows many people to continue to suffer through chronic illness (and chooses not to provide physical healing), he is able to turn all situations in joy! We’ll talk more about that in a minute.

First, consider these verses about God’s perfect love for us (despite suffering):

1 John 4:18

Zephaniah 3:17

Ephesians 3:16-19

2. It’s OK to ask God “Why?”, but don’t let it dictate your joy.

Sometimes we lack joy when facing chronic illness because we just want to understand the reasons behind it. We think, “How can God still love me and still allow me to go through this situation?”

First, we don’t have to base how much God loves us on whether our circumstances are good or bad. God’s love is unconditional, steady and unchanging.

We can find peace through physical illness (even when we don’t understand the “why” behind it) because we can trust his perfect plan through the illness.

Remember how we just learned that God loves us beyond what we can even understand?

Start with that truth first (instead of your circumstances) and let that guide your perspective. You don’t need all the answers to your “why” questions in order to discover joy.

Bible verses on finding joy (despite not having all the answers):

Psalm 27:1-3

Romans 8:28

Proverbs 3:5-6

3. Look beyond the physical pain to discover spiritual joy.

What if we approached our daily struggles with chronic illness from this perspective: “I know that God loves me and desires all things to bring me closer to Him. Period. Therefore, even if God never brings me physical healing, I will choose not to let the daily pain of my illness define my joy.”

I encourage you to look beyond the physical pain!

No, physical suffering is not ideal. And of course we want chronic illness to go away.

But consider this question: “How can enduring this sickness each day bring me spiritual gifts of joy that I wouldn’t have without this sickness?”

Write down what the opportunities for joy you’ve been given because of chronic illness.

Consider these Bible verses about joy through suffering:

Romans 5:3-4

James 1:2-4

4. Yes, God wants to give you more than you can handle. Embrace that truth and lean into Him for strength.

God absolutely gives us more than we can handle, and for good reason! When we’re in situations where we can’t manage things in our own strength, it forces us to rely on Him (and that’s good thing).

I want to testify that God can supernaturally give you the strength needed to endure chronic illness, one moment at a time. Chronic pain forces us to rely on him continually, and when we’re able to rely on Him, we experience deep spiritual peace and joy.

This strength and peace through chronic illness is a beautiful testimony of God showing himself to be real in this broken world.

Joy Bible verses for strength through chronic illness:

Colossians 1:11

Psalm 23

5. The enemy’s plan is to use chronic illness to draw you away from God. Don’t let that happen.

The enemy desires that this illness won’t just cause pain/destruction to your physical health but also to your spiritual health. He wants to use this situation to distract you and steal you away from the rich relationship God desires to have with you.

Like we’ve shared above, keep the right perspective. Remember that God loves you (always) and that his purposes for you are for good.

Let these bible verses encourage you that, even through chronic illness, God’s plan is to bring you a rich, satisfying life:

John 10:10

Jeremiah 29:10-14

6. Stop being surprised by the ongoing pain and trials of chronic illness.

Jesus tells us to not be surprised by the fact that we have problems, illness, money issues—whatever.

What if instead of being angry by the fact that we have to deal with an ongoing chronic illness, we choose to say “God, how can you make me more stronger spiritually and mentally because of this?”

We need to stop being so surprised by the fact that God allows pain in our lives. Instead, let’s choose acceptance with joy—knowing that the pain will have a purpose.

Bible verses that comfort us as we enduring ongoing pain:

1 Peter 4:12

John 16:33

7. Let God’s presence make you courageous and brave through the daily struggles of chronic illness.

Jesus sees and knows our deepest, darkest pain. He doesn’t promise us an easy life.

However, He tells us that we can discover joy through chronic illness because not only does He walk with us through the pain, but ultimately He has overcome it all. Hallelujah!

This truth doesn’t make chronic illness a painless experience, but it does make it possible to discover joy in the most difficult seasons because He has promised us to always be with us and to restore us.

We need to courageously choose to stand firm on this truth, asking Him to give us the strength to live triumphantly each day.

Scriptures on joy and courage despite daily suffering:

Deuteronomy 31:6

Matthew 28:20

8. Look to discover joy right here and right now in this imperfect moment.

I’m really good at living in the future and letting my fears about “what could happen” steal the joy of right now. And this tendency to fear has been magnified by our family’s struggles with chronic illness.

If I wanted to, I could obsess about what could happen to my husband because of his diabetes. I could worry, get angry and work myself into a frenzy. I know that I could because I have in the past.

But I don’t need to go there (and neither do you). And by God’s strength, we don’t have to live as people consumed by future worries.

Friend, you must decide to not let the “what ifs” of tomorrow’s chronic illness struggles take over today. Choose not to let fear settle in your heart.

Cultivate joy despite chronic illness by living in this moment.

Joy Bible verses for releasing future worries to God:

Matthew 6:25-34

9. Decide to savor the joy and to give thanks despite the pain.

Our thoughts determine our destiny. This quote from Pastor Charles Swindoll has always brought me great comfort and reminded me of the importance of attitude.

That’s why I’m learning to ask myself, “What will I choose to savor about my life despite my everyday struggles with chronic illness?”

We have the ability to receive (or deny) God’s love and joy based on what we choose to focus on through our suffering. 

Look for the good and choose to give thanks despite the circumstances!

Life will never be perfect (even if we are physically healed from chronic illness), so choose to savor the joy-filled treasures of each day instead of the pain.

Bible verses on choosing to focus on joy despite the circumstances:

 Philippians 4:4-8

10. Rejoice in the truth that one day God will remove physical pain and suffering completely.

One day our physical bodies will be completely released from our spiritual selves. In the new heavens and the new early, God will restore creation back to how things were before Adam and Eve’s sin in the garden.

God will physically live among his people! And those of us who suffer from chronic illness can rejoice in this thought: God promises that there will no longer be pain, death or sorrow any more.

My heart wells up with joy (and my eyes with tears) at this thought. Oh, may this blessed day come soon!

This is the beautiful picture I want to leave you with: the story of the new heaven and the new earth. God promises that, for those who choose to follow Him and who long to be called His children, one day there will be total healing.

Bible verses on ultimate healing for chronic illness:

Revelation 21:1-4

3 Steps to Take to Discover Joy Through Chronic Illness

It’s OK to still have the “why” questions in regards to chronic illness. None of us have all the answers (nor will we ever have them in this life).

However, in order to have peace and joy through chronic suffering, we must continually grow closer to God as we focus on these biblical truths in daily Bible study time and daily prayer.

I encourage you to take these next 3 steps to discover joy in spite of chronic illness:

1) Study these chronic illness Bible verses and apply them to your life today.

Go through the Bible verses mentioned in this post using my 5Rs Bible Study Method™.

Here’s a video where I show you step by step how this simple Bible study method can allow you to understand the Bible like never before!

Watch it here:

By the way, you can get a free 5Rs Bible Study™ Method bookmark so that you can easily remember how to use this powerful Bible study method to analyze and apply these scriptures on joy for chronic illness!


2) Pray to God regularly so that He can provide supernatural joy despite your illness.

Prayer is our lifeline to God. It’s a simple and powerful way for us to gain the strength we need to stay joyful on the tough days of dealing with a chronic illness. Learn how to develop a powerful prayer life here.

3) Let your daily chronic pain issues drive you to a closer relationship with God.

Pain (whether emotional or physical) is never easy to endure. But I’ve found that it has been those most challenging life moments that have driven me closer to God and allowed me to discover supernatural joy and peace through life’s ongoing struggles (like chronic illness). Get the resources you need to grow spiritually deep with God here.

I hope that these Bible verses about joy have demonstrated that yes, it is possible to have authentic joy and peace through chronic illness even if God doesn’t grant physical healing.

I’m praying that these Bible verses encourage you toward authentic joy as you battle chronic illness!

Other Posts About Discovering Joy Through Difficult Circumstances

When Chronic Illness Invades Your Marriage

20 Encouraging Bible Verses About Joy

How Can We “Count It All Joy” During Life’s Most Difficult Trials?

4 Ways “Acceptance with Joy” Will Change Your Life Today


And don’t forget to download your free 5Rs Bible Study™ Method Bookmark so that you can begin to uncover the richer, deeper truths of these Bible verses about joy!


About Alicia Michelle

As a wife and mom to four passionate kids, Alicia Michelle loves encouraging other moms with practical tips for joy-filled living in everyday life, especially in parenting, marriage, faith and health.

Alicia is the owner/editor of Your Vibrant Family; the author of Plan to Be Flexible, The Back to School Survival Manual; and the creator/producer of the “7 Days to a Less Angry Mom Online Video Course,”, Christ-Centered Christmas Resources and My Memory Box Organizing System. In addition, she is a monthly contributor for several popular family blogs, including Crosswalk.com.

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