10 Verses on Joy

If you were to drive past a billboard showcasing the “picture of joy,” my face would not be on it because joy is something I struggle with. When I was in elementary school, my parents got divorced and I can assure you that there was not an abundance of joy on my end. I was sad, angry, and depressed. I started comparing myself to the other kids because at the time I was one of the few kids in school with divorced parents. I felt ashamed that I was different from them, but even more so, I felt guilty that I couldn’t be as carefree or joyful as they were. How could I be when my whole world was falling apart?

One could say that I was only a kid, but I’ve seen how a similar mentality has followed me into adulthood. I tend to be a glass half-empty person and it is very easy for me to get bogged down in my emotions and circumstances.

As a Christian, I carry even more guilt over my joy deficiency because it is something believers are “supposed” to feel. When walking through trials and hardships, I find myself in an endless cycle of trying to muster up joy with little to no avail.

It was an AHA moment when I fully understood this principle:

Life + Laura’s way = No Joy

Anytime that I try to get joy through my own efforts, circumstances, people, or checking out through watching TV, it isn’t going to work. Living life God’s way by spending time with Him and doing what He says is what brings joy in this life.

Life + God’s Way = JOY!

The underlying reality of my joy deficiency is that I am struggling to be with God. Instead of welcoming the guilt on those days where I find myself striving for joy, I’ve started asking myself: “How are you and God doing today?” This is the swift kick in the pants that I need to remind me to be with God so that He can put His joy in me.

Here are 10 verses that God has used to teach me about joy:

“When anxiety was great within me, your consolation [comfort] brought myjoy.” – Psalm 94:19

“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

“The commandments of the LORD are right, bringing joyto the heart. The commands of the LORD are clear, giving insight for living.” – Psalm 19:8

“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

“Restore to me the joyof your salvation, and make me willing to obey you.” – Psalm 51:12

“Yes, the LORD has done amazing things for us! What joy!”– Psalm 126:3

“But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in your lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” – Galatians 5:22-23a

“You make known to me the path of life; You fill me withjoyin Your presence…” – Psalm 16:11

 “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you.  Now remain in my love. If you keep my Father’s commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in His love. I have told you this so that my joymay be in you and that your joymay be complete.” – John 15:9-11

“Always be full of joyin the Lord. I say it again – rejoice.” – Philippians 4:4

Laura Smith serves at 95.1 SHINE-FM as Project Manager.