How do we find joy in the journey of life even when the journey has taken us along roads we never wanted to travel? How do we find joy when we are hurting, overwhelmed, or exhausted? Although it may feel impossible. It isn’t. With God, it is possible. But let’s find out more with these Bible verses about joy.
We need joy in our lives.
Without it, we leave ourselves vulnerable to chronic stress, anxiety, and depression. Those symptoms then impact our physical health, our relationships, and our purpose.
But first what is joy?
Biblically speaking, joy is something that lives within us because of the way we love God and therefore see life. It is something far more extensive than happiness and foundational to the way in which we live as Christians. Happiness is momentary. It is important and good. Yet, it isn’t what lives deep within us. Happiness comes from laughter, humor, fun, and relaxation. It’s the memories we make with our loved ones as we share both simple and momentous occasions together.
Biblically speaking, joy is something that lives within us because of the way we love God and therefore see life. It is something far more extensive than happiness and foundational to the way in which we live as Christians. Click To Tweet
Yet, happiness and joy are woven together.
With a joy-filled life, we find more moments of happiness because our eyes are opened to the miracle of everyday life. And happiness, in turn, propels our joy and reminds us to look at Jesus and be thankful for all He has given us both great and small.
My God Story of Joy
I’ve always struggled with a weak immunity system along with a genetic kidney disease called Cystinuria. In my twenties, doctors didn’t believe I’d ever be able to have babies nor were they sure how long my kidneys would last me.
Although I still test positive for the disease, it rarely affects me. I had two babies and I still have both my kidneys. And through the ten surgeries in 2 years, wearing a nephrostomy tube for 8 months, and the passing of more than fifty kidney stones, I learned a little more about finding joy in the journey and paying close attention to moments of happiness.
Fast forward to 8 years ago and several years after my cystinuria struggles, I began experiencing chronic pain. The culprit turned out to be toxic black mold that was hiding behind the walls of a new home we had moved into. We also found out that my unique genetics allow mold to attack my pituitary gland which wreaks havoc on the human body. Although I was treated for mold poisoning and somewhat improved, it triggered a plethora of new health problems. Fibromyalgia, migraines, and severe food and environmental allergies are just a few.
Increased stress aggravates my symptoms. Over the last couple of years, as several stressors increased, so did my pain and ability to function well. That’s when I began to lose sight of finding joy in life.
I struggled with anxiety and depression. I began wondering where God was and why I couldn’t find relief. I was drowning in overwhelm, disappointment, and grief.
No. I’m not healed. My circumstances and stressors haven’t necessarily changed. But God continued to love me and wait for me as I found my way back to the peace I can only find in Him. The peace that surpasses all understanding.
Finding Unexpected Joy
I wrote a post just a couple of weeks ago that serves as a practical how-to for finding joy in the journey of life. I wrote it for Maree Dee at Embracing the Unexpected, who is not only a friend but an incredible writer and mental health advocate. In the article, I share 16 ways to find unexpected joy in difficult seasons. Strategies are important in finding joy. Being intentional is important. In the post, I do include a few Bible verses about joy, but I didn’t feel as though they were enough.
The foundation of finding joy in the journey is knowing the heart of God.
It is in knowing Him, knowing His promises, and knowing His love for you. All of that is impossible without reading your Bible.
The Bible is God’s love story to His children. It’s in His Bible verses about joy that we learn what real joy is and how to live it out. It is His way of teaching us and communicating with us. The Bible is His recorded legacy so that, for all of time, people may know the God who created them.
What About You?
Friend, where is your joy today? Are you facing a difficult season for the first time? Or, are you weary from back-to-back seasons? Perhaps you once found joy but in this new season, you feel lost. For whatever reason, I know you need hope. You need a reminder that finding joy and living out of its overflow is possible.
I’m here as that reminder. I’m here to tell you that the But God stories of my life are more than possible for your life, too, so don’t lose heart. Your joy is important to God. Pastor Colin Smith at Open the Bible writes that joy is referenced in the ESV Bible translation 430 times! That’s a lot of Bible verses about joy. I pray that fact seeps deep into your soul so that you do not doubt how much God cares for you!
I can’t possibly share all 430 times, but I will share with you these 15 Bible verses about joy! Eight of the verses are from the New Testament and seven are from the Book of Psalms. The Book of Psalms is loaded with stories of finding joy in the journey of life. It is a written record of the human experience that goes from pain, lament, and anger, then to peace and joy.
Find Joy in the Journey With These 8 Bible Verses from the New Testament
“You haven’t done this before. Ask, using my name, and you will receive, and you will have abundant joy.” -John 16:24 NLT
“So be truly glad.[a] There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while.” – 1 Peter 1:6 NLT
“I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love. When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father’s commandments and remain in his love. I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow!” -John 15:9-11 NLT
“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 NLT
“Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying.” -Romans 12:12 NLT
“Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind 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
“So you have sorrow now, but I will see you again; then you will rejoice, and no one can rob you of that joy.” -John 16:22 NLT
“Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” -Philippians 4:7 NLT
Find Joy in the Journey With These 7 Bible Verses from the Book of Psalms
“You make known to me the path of life;
in your presence there is fullness of joy;
at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” -Psalms 16:11 ESV
“I will shout for joy and sing your praises,
for you have ransomed me.” -Psalms 71:23 NLT
“For his anger lasts only a moment,
but his favor lasts a lifetime!
Weeping may last through the night,
but joy comes with the morning.” -Psalm 30:5 NLT
“This is the day the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it.” -Psalms 118:24 NLT
“Those who plant in tears will harvest with shouts of joy.” -Psalms 126:5 NLT
“But let all who take refuge in you rejoice let them sing joyful praises forever. Spread your protection over them, that all who love your name may be filled with joy.” -Psalms 5:11 NLT
“When doubts filled my mind, your comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer.” -Psalms 94:19 NLT
I pray that the words I share here point to the joy and hope we have in Christ. I hope they encourage you to do the next right thing and they begin a new deepening desire to seek Jesus in all things. May you thirst for His Word and His presence! And if this did help, would you drop me a note to share how? I’d love to know this and if there is something more you wonder about or need to know!
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This post originally appeared on LoriSchumaker.com.