When I am going through a trial, it’s hard to have joy. The “what ifs” and negative things I imagine happening take over my mind.
But, what does the Bible say about joy? By studying his word we can experience unexplainable joy even in times of hardship… because knowing Jesus produces joy.
Joy can be experienced at all times through how you respond in your relationship with Christ. Surrender the outcome of events in your life to him to have freedom from worry; trust him; obey him; know him more through prayer; read the Bible; thank him; praise him; soak in his presence.
What Does the Bible Say About Joy?
The Bible makes it clear that in the presence of Jesus there is joy and you can experience this no matter what you are walking through. It is an unexplainable joy that isn’t dependent on your circumstances, but on him.
“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…” (1 Peter 1:8, NIV)
It’s a joy like no other. Nothing in this world can offer it. When you encounter this joy from being with him, it will overflow from your heart to others. Loving God allows you to seek him for joy at all times and then you can love yourself and in turn love people.
Fruit of the Spirit: Joy
Unexplainable joy at all times is not something you can achieve on your own, but only with Jesus in your life. You just have to make the choice to abide in God at all times, staying fixated on him. The more you choose Jesus, the more joy you can have.
“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, NIV)
You can have unexplainable joy the more Christlike you become, because it stems from him.
How to Find Joy in Life
Now that you know unexplainable joy is achievable through knowing Jesus, maybe you want to know how you can experience it when facing hardships. First, God calls us to express joy.
“So rejoice in the LORD and be glad, all you who obey him! Shout for joy, all you whose hearts are pure!” (Psalm 32:11, NLT)
He wants you to remain in this state, because it keeps you rooted in him as he is the source. It will keep you dependent on him, which we always need.
Expressing joy in life is a choice and can be attained by practicing certain things God calls you to daily: thanking him, and praising him.
Bible Verses About Choosing Joy
When you know Jesus, you can choose joy no matter what is going on… because of who he is. Here are some Bible verses about why you can choose joy in difficult seasons:
- Jesus has good plans for you. No matter what you are going through, you can have joy when you know this.
“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’” (Jeremiah 29:11, NIV)
- Jesus has good for you always; he is working all things out for your good.
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28, NIV)
- You are so loved by Jesus. It’s an unconditional love like no other.
“Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you.” (Psalm 63:3, NIV)
- You have authority in Christ. Victory is yours through him.
“The seventy-two returned with joy and said, ‘Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.’” (Luke 10:17, NIV)
- You can shout for joy for what God has done for you and will do.
“For you make me glad by your deeds, Lord; I sing for joy at what your hands have done.” (Psalm 92:4, NIV)
What Is Joy in the Bible?
True joy comes from the Lord. This joy can be found even in hardship. There are many stories in the Bible where biblical figures went through difficult times… yet they were able to have joy because of God. This is the joy of the Lord.
Here are 3 Bible stories about joy that demonstrate how you can have it in all times because you know Jesus.
The Story of Esther
In the story of Esther, you can read about the great difficulty Esther was enduring as her fellow Jews were facing death. She didn’t know what to do, but God gave her courage and took care of it all. He protected Esther and her people, the Jews. This led to great joy.
“In every province and in every city to which the edict of the king came, there was joy and gladness among the Jews, with feasting and celebrating. And many people of other nationalities became Jews because fear of the Jews had seized them.” (Esther 8:17, NIV)
When you trust God to work things out, the outcome will be good. This brings joy to your heart; this joy is only there because of God’s abilities. God can give you courage to do hard things, too, and you can find joy in this. He is your strength.
The Story of Job
Job was a man faithful to God, but God allowed the enemy to test Job’s allegiance to him. Job went through so much hardship, yet he didn’t say a bad thing against God. He stood by who God is and it brought him joy despite his hard times.
“Then I would still have this consolation—my joy in unrelenting pain—that I had not denied the words of the Holy One.” (Job 6:10, NIV)
When you stand in the truth of who God is, you can have joy no matter what. Job demonstrates this.
The Story of Sarah
Sarah wanted a child very much, yet for years she had none. God did promise that she would have one but she doubted it. God always keeps his promises, however, and Sarah did have a child, Isacc, in his timing. This brought her great joy.
“Sarah said, ‘God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me.’” (Genesis 21:6, NIV)
When you trust God and his promises—waiting in expectation of what he will do in his timing—you experience great joy at what he has done. Joy comes from what God can do; stay in his will because his will is best. You can see that in the faithfulness of his character. Trust his timing. It is the best.
If you are seeking to have joy in your difficult season you need to ask yourself: What does the Bible say about joy? Joy in the Bible is rooted in Jesus. Jesus is joy. He is the source of it, meaning that no matter what you are going through you can have joy.
Joy stems from knowing him, his character and in following him… seeing what he will do for you as you obey him. You can learn so much from studying biblical figures’ lives and how they experienced joy from knowing God. You, too, can be full of joy when you remember and focus on him in this hard time.
Hi, I'm Nikki
My goal is to help and equip Christian women like you to live for Jesus by following Matthew 22:37-39: to love God, to love yourself, and to love others.