Want to know what God says about happiness in Scripture? Use these 10 Bible verses on joy to give you a more joyful heart in every season of life.
Christians and non-Christians alike are always searching for ways to bring more happiness and joy into their lives, and for good reason!
- help you lose weight
- lower your stress
- lower your risk of heart attack
- improve your blood pressure
- boost your immune system
- help you focus
- improve your memory
- cause you to want to serve others more
- make you more grateful and content
- make you feel pretty amazing
It’s not just something that just “happens” to us, though.
If we just go with the flow and follow our human emotions through life, chances are, it will drown us in worry and anxiety.
Live in such a way that you capture joy.
Seek it daily. Be grateful for it when it comes easily. Fight for it when it doesn’t.
What Does The Bible Say On Joy And Happiness?
I love the Bible verses on joy below because they confirm that joy is a beautiful gift from God that can be experienced in every season of your life, no matter what you are going through.
You don’t have to have a perfect life to experience joy.
You can experience joy right where you are right now.
There absolutely is a difference between happiness and joy, though. There is an excellent devotional on this topic on the GCU website that describes that happiness is an emotion that can come and go while joy is more a long-lasting state of being.
This article by Christianity.com describes joy as being something you experience internally while happiness is something you experience outwardly when your circumstances create happy feelings. Joy is selfless while happiness feels blissful.
The joy described in Scripture is so much deeper than a fleeting feeling. Read on to see what I mean in the Bible verses on joy below.
Scriptures On Joy
1. James 1:2-3 – Pure Joy In Suffering & Trials
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.James 1:2-3
Joy doesn’t come easy during trials. During difficult seasons of life, it’s so much easier to get carried away by worry and anxiety.
But God gives us a better way! Even in our struggles, we can can experience pure joy in choosing to silence those inner voices and trust God on a deeper level than we ever have before.
Is it easy? Definitely not!
Is it worth the fight? Every single time.
2. 1 Peter 1:8-9 – Joy Unspeakable
Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.1 Peter 1:8-9
It can be tough when we are living here in the world and God feels so far away. We ache for something tangible to cling to.
That’s why we have Bible verses to reassure us that there is more to life than what we can see right in front of us.
God is here. And believing that in the depth of our souls, with all of heart, fills us with joy unspeakable! So overwhelmingly wonderful that there aren’t even words to express that amount of happiness.
3. 2 John 1:12 – Joy In Relationships
I have much to write to you, but I do not want to use paper and ink. Instead, I hope to visit you and talk with you face to face, so that our joy may be complete.2 John 1:12
Most of these Bible verses are just referring to joy in your relationship with God, but this verse is talking about the joy in human connection.
Have you ever been in a long-distance relationship? Had a family member deployed?
Writing letters, typing emails, and hearing their voice over phone calls is wonderful, but that moment when you get to hold them in your arms again? There is such joy in that tangible connection with friends and family members!
4. – Luke 15:7 – Joy In Repentance
I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.Luke 15:7
Oh, what a beautiful thing when someone recognizes their need for Jesus!
Repentance is so much more than a person recognizing the error of their ways. It isn’t even really about that inner remorse and it certainly isn’t about simply hanging your head in shame.
Instead of regret, this joy is about restoring a broken relationship with God, accepting his unfathomable gift of forgiveness, and choosing to walk in His ways.
That is surely reason for heaven to rejoice!
5. Nehemiah 8:10 – The Joy Of The Lord Is My Strength
Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”Nehemiah 8:10
Knowing God is who He says He is is great. Believing God will do what he says He can do is also good.
But, the joy of the Lord is something you experience to gain this strength.
Sure, we love the feeling of joy, but it’s more powerful than we can even fathom!
When we find our true joy in the Lord, that joy isn’t just something that brings us happiness and contentment.
It can be a source of strength in our lives.
6. 2 Corinthians 6:10 – Rejoicing In Our Sorrow
Sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; poor, yet making many rich; having nothing, and yet possessing everything.2 Corinthians 6:10
Jesus brought a message to the world that was so counter-cultural.
It doesn’t make sense to rejoice in our sorrow, but it is possible!
God clothes us in joy and turns our mourning into dancing!
7. Psalm 30:5 – Joy In The Morning
For his anger lasts only a moment,Psalm 30:5
but his favor lasts a lifetime;
weeping may stay for the night,
but rejoicing comes in the morning.
This is such a comforting Psalm, assuring us of a brighter future.
No, this Bible verse may not mean a joyful morning in a literal tomorrow. It isn’t a formula that gives us a timeline for our struggles. But this Scripture does give us a hope to cling to.
These days are hard, but not meaningless.
God is ever-faithful and will fulfill all of His promises. These struggles we are experiencing may feel endless, they are still temporary.
Rejoicing is ahead!
8. Galatians 5:22-23 – Joy Is A Fruit Of The Spirit
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.Galatians 5:22-23
This is one of my favorite Bible verses on joy because it draws such a beautiful picture of the marks of a Christian life.
Sometimes we get sucked into thinking that suffering is somehow a mark of a successful Christian life – constantly going without ourselves to provide for others.
Generosity is certainly a godly trait, but there should be joy behind the giving!
The choices we make to bring glory to Christ are acts of love that both serve and satisfy.
9. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 – Rejoice Always
Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
“Rejoice always.” What a powerful sentiment!
We are not called to just rejoice when things go well or how we want (or expect) them to go.
There is joy out there waiting for us in every circumstance – the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Take the time to look for it and capture it. This is not about ignoring or downplaying the struggles in your life. Experiencing joy isn’t about denying that life is hard.
Rejoicing always is a joy that is bigger than our circumstances, knowing our beautiful, perfect future in Christ will be wholly fulfilled.
Isn’t it beautiful that part of God’s will for us is JOY?
10. John 16:24 – Complete Joy
Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.John 16:24
Can you imagine a joy like the one described in this Scripture? A joy that is complete, lacking nothing.
The things that bring us momentary pleasure in life – food, smiles, a new relationship – all of those things are wonderful, but they tend to leave us aching for more. That’s what sets Biblical joy apart – when we are depending on Jesus, we will be fully satisfied.
Asking can feel so selfish when God has already blessed us with so much, but He so delights when we ask, seek, and knock, desiring more of His will in our lives.