As I was searching for verses on joy in the Bible, I began to wonder, “What is the difference between ‘joy’ and ‘happiness?'” Fortunately for me, someone has asked the question before and the answer made perfect sense to me. “In short, “happiness” can be described as an emotion, while “joy” is more properly related to a state of one’s being.” (The Difference Between Joy and Happiness) So in considering joy for this post on Bible Quotes: Joy in the Bible, let’s keep that definition in mind.
Joy is the result of faith.
-Father John Hardon
Bible Quotes: Joy in the Bible
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We know from our Catechism, God made us to know love and serve Him to be happy with Him in this life and for eternity in the next life. Just throwing this out there, does it seem like maybe there are two extreme camps in the world? In the one camp, we have the suffering martyrs of this life. They are gloomy, barely holding on–holding it together and keeping up. And God love ’em, they are trying so hard. They are trying to be, as the old slogan goes, all that they can be…and danged if it’s not gonna kill ’em in the process! And then on the other end of life’s spectrum, there are those who live like nothing else matters in this world, much less the next. I’m pretty sure, if you are a friend here at The Littlest Way, you’re not hanging out in that camp, so I won’t spend any time address all that wrongness there. Let’s talk about us, the ones who try so hard it’s killing us slowly.
We’ve established God created us to make our way back to Him. Guess what, He wants us to bring others. And I don’t care how sweet talking, smooth selling you are about your God; if you’re a gloomy, sour, sighing mess, I will not…do not…won’t want what you have, or are trying so hard to be. So let’s cut it out ok; it’s bad publicity for the Kingdom of God.
I’m obviously not talking about serious mental or physical conditions, but I kind of am…a little. I mean look at some of the things the saints endured spiritually, physically, mentally and emotionally and they were still joyful. But we’re not saints, yet, I don’t think. So yes, life is hard and there are struggles and they will get us down. But let’s resolve not to stay there, down and out, how’s that?
Back to the general Christian pool of good girls trying hard with a sour grimace on their face. Do you know why? Do you know why the trying is killing them…us…me and you? Because we are so busy trying we don’t have time to trust. Let me repeat that…
And here is a simple equation…trust equals joy. Let me give a very personal example. I have delivered seven babies, thanks be to God. The harder I tried to control my labor, the harder my labor was and that’s a perfect analogy for life…
It’s only when we stop fighting against control that we make room for trust. I’m not just talking delivering babies either; I’m talking every area of life. But I will say when I was able to relax, either because of medication or meditation, I was able to let go of my idea of control and my body did what it was supposed to do–but I had to stop fighting it first. I could go into all sorts of saying and mottos here, but it all comes down to one very popular one, “Let go and let God.” (If it helps, you could sing “Let it gooo…” if you need that reminder as you go through your day.)
Once we open our hands, hearts and minds to let all this stuff go, we now have room for God and others. We can stop living so sour and serious and begin living satisfied. Satisfied because we know it’s all going to be ok.
And that’s where joy comes from you guys, holding on to God because we know who we are in Christ. We know He made us because He loves us. We know He’s here for us because He loves us. We know He’s waiting for us because He loves us…He’s crazy about us!
Of course I am going to recommend my favorite book in the whole world–next to the Bible—The 4:8 Principle: The Secret to a Joy Filled Life. I told Chris today, “If I could meet anyone living, it would probably be Tommy Newberry.” I cannot tell you enough, so get used to me telling you, how much this book impacted my life years ago when I was the epitome of the description I listed above: a gloomy, sour, sighing mess. (I was also battling some mental, emotional and spiritual issues in my mind as well.)
So, print out these Scripture passages on joy (or rejoicing), open your Bible and start reading them. God’s Word is powerful enough to break you free from whatever (or whoever–wink, wink) is keeping you from living a joy filled life, regardless of your present circumstances. Pick your favorite highlighter color and highlight or underline these Bible Quotes in your Bible as you go through them.
Quickly, I want to mention, now that my children are getting bigger and my husband is not traveling so much with work, we, my husband and I, have decided, if God calls me to encourage women as a conference or retreat speaker as well as write here at The Littlest Way, I am now able to do that on a limited basis. Taking the words of Scripture to heart, 2 John 1:12…”Though I have much to write to you, I would rather not use paper and ink. Instead I hope to come to you and talk face to face, so that our joy may be complete.” You can contact me by email for more information.
Bible Quotes Resources
My large print Bible
(This is my go-to Bible. It’s large print and just feels nice in my hands.)
Ignatius Catholic Study Bible: New Testament
(I use this Bible when I’m looking for some more information about the text.)
The Catholic Bible Concordance for the Revised Standard Version
(You want to know where a word is in the Bible? This is the book for you!)
The Great Commentary of Cornelius A’ Lapide
(I use this commentary for more information as well.)
A Practical Commentary On Holy Scripture
(I like this commentary because it also has reflections and applications.)