As Christians, maintaining joy in all situations helps us to live out fruitful lives. Here are some of our favourite Bible verses that show us the importance of joy.

God’s Word is overflowing with verses which show us the positive impact that being joyful has on our lives and the lives of those around us. In particular, the book of Philippians paints a picture of how we can unlock a source of never-ending joy.

Paul wrote to the Philippians while he was in prison, and had faced tough conditions for almost five years. Despite this, his joy never wavered, for his relationship with God helped him to be content.

I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances— Philippians 4:11

Throughout his time in prison and for many years later, Paul placed his trust in God, and focused on being more like Christ rather than the circumstance he was facing. This led him to experience great joy, even in tough times.

Similarly, the church of Philippi were in deep poverty themselves, but the joy they found in God enabled them to give humble offerings which helped to bring the gospel to the world.

And now, brothers and sisters, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches. In the midst of a very severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. —2 Corinthians 8:1-3

Joy is something we see in our local church partners every day. Even in extreme poverty, children all over the world begin to experience genuine joy when they are introduced to God’s love for them. Through that joy, they unlock a sense of purpose and hope which ultimately releases them from poverty.

For God’s children, the power of joy is never-ending. Although not one fruit of the spirit is more important than another, joy enables us to experience the others in the way that Jesus did.

Here are some of our favourite Bible verses about joy.

What the Bible Says About Joy

Maintaining Joy in Hard Times

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

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. —Romans 12:12

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! —Philippians 4:4

A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. —Proverbs 17:22

Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise. —James 5:13

Joy is Freely Accessible Through Jesus

But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.” —Luke 2:10

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. —Romans 15:13

“I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.” —John 15:11

Yet he has not left himself without testimony: He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; he provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy. —Acts 14:17

Joy in Prayer and Worship Brings us Closer to God

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

In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy. —Philippians 1:4

Shout for joy, you heavens; rejoice, you earth; burst into song, you mountains! For the Lord comforts his people and will have compassion on his afflicted ones. —Isaiah 49:13

In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name. —Psalm 33:21

But may the righteous be glad and rejoice before God; may they be happy and joyful. —Psalm 68:3

What the Bible Says About Joy

As Christians, our ultimate source of joy is the gospel. We can remain joyful even when life gets hard, because we know that God is more powerful than any circumstance.

Find out how you can bring joy to a child living in poverty by visiting our Sponsorship page.

Words by Claire Ince