Joy in the Bible
What does joy mean to you?
Do you think of it as a synonym for happy?
Do you equate joy with excitement?
What do you think of when you think of joy in the Bible?
Verses like Romans 12:12 may come to mind, “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Cool. Be cheerful or excited about being hopeful?
When you think of joy do you think of joy as a way to describe the Holy Spirit?
No? You should! In John 15:11, Jesus told his disciples, “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.” In this verse, Jesus is telling the disciples that they will have the joy that He has because the Holy Spirit will be in them.
Joy takes many forms in the Bible, as you can see just from the two verses mentioned above, we are going to look at three ways the word “joy” is represented in the Bible.
Joy in the Bible
1. “The joy of the Lord is your strength.” (Nehemiah 8:10)
When you know and trust that the Lord is going to take care of you, you will be so filled with joy because you know that nothing can really hurt you because in the end, God’s got your back and we win the war. I don’t know about you, but it makes me pretty joyful to know that even though life on earth is pretty rough, in the end God will make us whole again when we join him in Heaven.
2. 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
Over the past few years I have gotten better about being joyful even when my life is upside down. There’s nothing wrong with being sad or angry but we need to have the skills to bring ourselves back to center and remember to be joyful, thank God for what you have, and to pray.
3. Acts 13:52 And the disciples were continually filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.
In this verse from Acts (a super interesting book to read if you are interested in the history of the Bible), Luke writes that the disciples were filled with both joy and the Holy Spirit. If the Holy Spirit is in your heart, you will have constant joy by your side. Similar to the first point where we looked at Nehamiah 8:10, trust God and the Holy Spirit and you will have joy. Another example of the Holy Spirit being and bringing joy can be found in Luke 1:41-45.
“When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the baby leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.
And she cried out with a loud voice and said, "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!
"And how has it happened to me, that the mother of my Lord would come to me?’”
When Elizabeth’s child (John) felt that Mary’s baby (Jesus) was close, even in the womb as an unborn baby, John could feel Jesus and the Holy Spirit. That is so cool!! It made him kick and spin and go crazy with joy! I can totally see this happening because my first son, William, was crazy when I was pregnant with him. Like seriously nuts. But he would always get the most excited during worship at church. His joy then made me fill with joy. Has that happened to anyone else?
I would love to hear your thoughts on joy and the Bible, pop a comment below or head over to The Joyful Homemaker’s (free) community on Facebook.