Have you ever experienced a season in which joy feels far away or even non-existent? Or wondered how joy comes in the morning after a season of suffering? Together we’ll explore the best Bible verses about joy and how the joy of the Lord can eclipse even the darkest of circumstances.
What is biblical joy?
In a season of life where my joy-meter was at zero, I opened God’s word for a dose of hope and joy.
I knew I needed more than a fleeting quiet time my heavenly Father, but was desperate to understand the word joy as God intended.
As I looked up the Greek and Hebrew definitions of joy, I discovered that those descriptions included many powerful words, depending on the context it’s used.
Joy: rejoice, gladness, triumph, delight, pleasure.
Therefore, biblical joy is a deep delight and pleasure anchored in the steadfast character and faithfulness of God.
True joy is found resting in the hope of God, living grateful for the gift of grace at the cross, and standing confidently on the word of God.
Wow! Those powerful definitions made me realize that as a daughter of the King, I can experience the complete soul satisfaction, even when life is hard and overwhelming.
The God of hope is my source of joy and knowing my eternity is secure with Him helps me walk through the messy moments of life with security and biblical confidence.
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Biblical joy vs. happiness
When it comes to true joy, the world often confuses joy and happiness. Yet believers in Christ can rest assured that happiness and joy are completely different things. (Praise the Lord!)
Happiness tends to be based solely on you, your circumstances, or things that are temporary. For example, you can feel happy it’s Friday and have a smile on your face knowing the weekend is around the corner.
However, biblical joy is rooted in the hope of Jesus and knowing that even on your darkest day, God is still good.
As a child of God, you can live with joy because of Jesus’ gift of grace at the cross, the miracle of the empty tomb, and the promise that this world is not our home. The promise of eternity with the Lord brings joy to a weary soul and hope to a hurting heart.
So when life feels heavy and too much to bear, reflect on the promises of God’s Word that offer you strength, hope, comfort, and even joy in suffering.
Praise the Lord we’re not dependent on our own self or circumstances to find joy!
Background on Psalm 30:5: The Joy Comes in the Morning Scripture
This powerful Old Testament book was written by mainly by David, a man after God’s own heart. He wrote Psalm 30 and many of the most famous Psalms.
According to commentaries, this Psalm by David was intended as a dedication of his house. However, the words offer praise to God for His goodness and greatness instead.
David began the Psalm praising the Lord for victory over his enemies and recognizing God’s provision in His life. As the Psalm progresses, He gives thanks and praise to God for healing and preserving His life.
In verse 4, David encourages other believers to develop a habit of praise and give thanks to God for His holiness and goodness.
Then, verse 5 proclaims, “For his anger is but for a moment, and his favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.” (Eastern Standard Version- ESV)
In this famous Scripture, David continues to encourage the children of God to praise the Lord. David mentions that while the anger or discipline of God may cause sting and heartache, God’s favor is greater than any sorrow or burden we may feel here on earth.
In the end, believers can rest assured that the favor of God will eclipse any discipline or punishment by the Lord. Also, God’s greatness will overshadow any heartache, suffering, or burdens we have here on earth.
When this life is over, we will spend eternity in the perfect presence of God, and that promise will overcome the heartache of the life and result in joy.
Different versions of Psalm 30:5
As you compare the versions, note different word choices and phrasing.
King James Version (KJV)
For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.
New International Version (NIV)
For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.
New American Standard Version (NASB)
Be For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for a lifetime; Weeping may last for the night, But a shout of joy comes in the morning.
Benefits of the joy of the Lord
As a child of God, the joy of the Lord carries much hope and comfort during all seasons of life.
We can have joy in suffering like the apostle Paul.
When I think about suffering and seasons of hardship, often the word joy doesn’t come to mind.
Yet the apostle Paul reminds us that we, as children of God, can live with joy in hardship because of Christ’s sacrifice at the cross.
No matter what we face or how hard the situation, we can cling to the promise that this world is not our home and God never leaves or forsakes us.
Jesus’ redemption at the cross means we are able to be rooted in hope, even in suffering, because we are redeemed children of God!
Our sin debt has been paid and we can live with joy because of the precious blood of Jesus Christ has erased our sin and shame forever!
I do not say this to condemn you, for I said before that you are in our hearts, to die together and to live together. I am acting with great boldness toward you; I have great pride in you; I am filled with comfort. In all our affliction, I am overflowing with joy. 2 Corinthians 7:3-4
The joy of the Lord produces hope.
When our circumstances look bleak and our situations impossible, we need to remember where our true hope lies.
Knowing that the Lord is our joy, strength, and refuge means we live with hope in what’s to come.
Our hope is not in the temporary things of this world, but in the hope of the promise of eternity spent with the Lord. Therefore, when we keep our eyes on Jesus, we are able to live with hope knowing He holds the future in His hands.
Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. Romans 5:3-4.
Biblical joy keeps our eyes on the Lord.
When we meditate on the goodness of God and reflect on His faithfulness, joy naturally overflows from God’s faithfulness. As a result, we develop a deeper, more intimate relationship with God and long to spend time with Him. Then, we long to serve and please Him, and keep Him as the cornerstone of our life.
A heart that’s rooted in God’s goodness, will carve out time first thing to be still before Him and keep your eyes focused on Him.
Joy Comes in the Morning Bible Verses
These favorite Bible verses on joy will help you cling to the hope of God and remember that joy comes from Him alone.
For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning. Psalm 30:5
… And do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength. Nehemiah 8:10
Our soul waits for the Lord; he is our help and our shield. For our heart is glad in him, because we trust in his holy name. Psalm 33:20-25
For you, O Lord, have made me glad by your work; at the works of your hands I sing for joy. How great are your works, O Lord! Your thoughts are very deep! Psalm 92:4-5
Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy; then they said among the nations, “The Lord has done great things for them. ”The Lord has done great things for us; we are glad. Psalm 126:2-3
“Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid; for the Lord God is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation.” Isaiah 12:2
I will greatly rejoice in the Lord; my soul shall exult in my God, for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation; he has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself like a priest with a beautiful headdress, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. For as the earth brings forth its sprouts, and as a garden causes what is sown in it to sprout up, so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to sprout up before all the nations. Isaiah 61:10-11
…looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:2
Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. Romans 5:1-5
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. Romans 15:13
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
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. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. James 1:2-5
But I, by your great love, can come into your house; in reverence I bow down
toward your holy temple. Psalm 5:7
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
For the sun rises with its scorching heat and withers the grass; and its flower falls off and the beauty of its appearance is destroyed; so also the rich person, in the midst of his pursuits, will die out. Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. James 1:11-12
For we know, brothers loved by God, that he has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction. You know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake. And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you received the word in much affliction, with the joy of the Holy Spirit, so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia. 1 Thessalonians 1:4-7
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.1 Peter 1:3-7
And so the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; Luke 2:10
He will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy. Job 8:21
Rejoice in the Lord and be glad, you righteous; sing, all you who are upright in heart! Psalm 32:11
But may the righteous be glad and rejoice before God; may they be happy and joyful. Psalm 68:3
But let all who take refuge in you be glad: let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you. Psalm 5:11
Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Psalm 100:1-2
The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart; The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes. Psalm 19:8
Those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy. Those who go out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with them. Psalm 126:5-6
You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands. Isaiah 55:12
Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior. Habakkuk 3:17-18
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
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Romans 12:12
For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit Romans 14:17
Light shines on the righteous and joy on the upright in heart. Psalm 97:11
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
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Psalm 126:3
Blessed are you when people hate you when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name as evil, because of the Son of Man. “Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven. For that is how their ancestors treated the prophets. Luke 6: 22-23
Your next steps for a joy-filled life
No matter where today finds you, you can experience a joyful heart again in the presence of the Lord! Simply start seeking Him and meditate on His promises to experience His complete fullness of joy.
Grab this free Joy Bible reading plan to continue to explore what the Bible has to say about joy.
Or, go deeper with the Joy Inductive Bible Study Journal . It was created to help women savor God’s Word, unlock what Scripture says about joy, and recharge your prayer life through meaningful journaling and Scripture meditation.
It’s a next step you can take TODAY to let the power of the Holy Spirit and Christ Jesus help you eclipse the dark nights and finally start living with joy again.