Growing up in a Christian family was a blessing since I learned much from my parents. Though we were not wealthy, my father, a born-again Christian and pastor, always had so much joy and always taught us about the joy of the Lord. I did not understand it until I received salvation and began fellowshipping with God, which filled me with joy. My experience inspired me to share more about joy in the Bible. Whenever I read the scriptures, the word joy appears often. So, how many times is joy mentioned in the Bible?
The exact number of times joy is mentioned in the Bible varies. While some Bible scholars suggest that it appears 430 times, others imply that it shows up 224 instances. One of the things that contribute to the difference in the count is words like joyful and rejoice.
In this article, I invite you to join me as we delve into the topic of joy in the Bible. Keep reading to discover examples of joy in the Bible, how to find joy according to the Bible, where joy is first mentioned in the Bible, and much more!
What does the Bible say about joy?
The holy book says that Joy is a fruit of the Holy Spirit, just like peace, love, and kindness. (Galatians 5:22) We can also learn that joy is lasting by focusing on Psalm 30:5. This verse tells us that anger and suffering pass, but joy comes in the morning, and it lasts despite hardship.
According to the scripture, joy is better than happiness since it is true satisfaction. Unlike temporary happiness, joy is complete. (John 15:11) Additionally, the Bible reminds us to always rejoice in the Lord (Philippians 4:4). Also, Nehemiah 8:10 tells us that our strength comes from the joy of the Lord.
Where is the first time joy is mentioned in the Bible?
Bible scholars have differing views on where joy is first mentioned in the Bible due to the difference in the language used in various Bible versions. Some suggest that joy is first mentioned in Genesis 29:11 (NLV version). This verse tells us how Jacob was so overwhelmed with joy that he started crying and kissing Rachael since she was family.
Others speculate that joy is first mentioned in 1st Samuel 18:6 (ESV version). This passage talks about how Israelite women came to meet King Saul as they celebrated in songs of joy after David defeated the Philistines in battle.
Examples of joy in the Bible
Romans 14:17 says that joy expresses the kingdom of God. It reminds us that God’s kingdom is not all about drinking or eating but about joy and peace in the spirit.
1st Samuel 2:1 tells us of how Hannah was joyful after being delivered from her enemies.
According to Luke 15:7, there is great joy in heaven when a person accepts the gift of salvation. This verse shares a similar message as Acts 13:52, which talks of how Jewish believers were filled with joy when the Holy Spirit saved Gentiles.
Additionally, Acts 12:14 records that people used to rejoice when God set someone free. In this passage, the servant was full of joy after God had rescued Peter from prison. Luke 2:10 reminds us of how the angels announced the birth of Jesus. They said that they brought news of great joy in this verse.
John 15:11 describes how Jesus expressed joy in his ministry. In this verse, he wished that his joy may be in his followers. Acts 2:46 says that the early church was characterized by the Joy of the Lord and gladness. In 2nd Corinthians 7:4, Paul expressed his joy as the churches shared how the Holy Spirit worked among them. Matthew 28:8 tells us of how the women at Jesus’s tomb were overwhelmed with Joy when they realized that he had risen, and they ran to share the news with his disciples.
Is joy mentioned in the Old Testament?
Yes. Joy is mentioned in different verses of the Old Testament. For instance, it appears in Psalm 16:11, which says that only in God’s Presence can we find true joy. I also mentioned joy appearing in the story of Hannah when she was delivered from her enemies, recorded in the book of Samuel. Additionally, Psalm 4:7 tells us that fellowship with God brings great joy.
We can also find joy in Proverbs 15:21, which says that foolishness gives joy to a person without sense, but a sensible individual stays on the right path. Jeremiah 20:15 says that a father is filled with great joy when he hears that he has a son, but the bearer of the news is cursed. Joy is also mentioned in Isaiah 29:19, which says that the humble will get fresh joy in the Lord.
How to find joy according to the Bible
As Christians, we can find joy by focusing on God instead of focusing on our hardships. We learn this lesson from many psalmists who poured their hearts to God and submitted their difficulties to him, like in Psalm 3.
Philippians 4:4-8 reminds us to present our request to God in prayer rather than being anxious about what we cannot control. When we lay our burdens to God, he answers our prayers and fills us with joy.
Another way to find joy is through community. Just like Elijah and Elisha, we, too, require friends in our Christian life. Finding a community can help us share our disappointments and can bring us joy. We can also find joy in recognizing the hand of God in every aspect of our lives, including during trying times. Since God is the source of all joy, we should also spend time with him. We can learn this from Psalm 43:4, where David said he would go to God for his exceeding joy and praise him.
As a devout Christian, I have always been passionate about the Christian faith. This inspired me to pursue a degree in Religious studies and a Masters in Theology in college. I have also been privileged to teach 4 Christian courses in a college and university. Since I am dedicated to spreading the word of God, I am actively involved in the Church. Additionally, I share his word online and cover diverse topics on the Christian faith through my platform. You can read more about me on the about us page.