Most Helpful Bible Verses About Joy | How The Bible Can Help You Find Happiness

Updated February 28, 2023by BetterHelp Editorial Team

For Christians, the Bible is a place people turn to when looking for advice, salvation, glory, guidance, grace, and instructions on how to live life. However, you do not need to be Christian or even religious to find value in this ancient literary masterpiece. In the Bible, joy is referred to as the fruit of the Spirit. But, in secular terms, joy is an emotion being momentary in existence and the most frequently experienced. No matter the definition, finding joy and happiness in your life will help lighten the stress load of the day while brightening your outlook on life. 

The Bible contains many verses to provide wisdom and serenity and bring comfort and courage in difficult times. There are also many Bible verses about happiness to help guide you to find a positive and bright outlook on life. If you are having a difficult time in feeling happy and are managing sadness or a general low mood, you may be experiencing symptoms of depression and can find support in mental health therapy. One way in which therapist may provide support is by guiding their clients through strategies to help manage their thought processes that lead to negative thinking. Reading and writing about positive and joyful things is one way you can help turn your thinking around. The following Bible verses are centered around the concept of joy and happiness to help uplift your spirit. 

Do You Need Support In Finding Happiness In Your Life?

The Difference Between Joy And Happiness

The emotions of joy and happiness are often used interchangeably, but there is a distinct difference. When you ask someone to define happiness, they typically give you one of two different perspectives, one being a state of joy while happiness is a state of satisfaction or well-being. Joy usually refers to a feeling or an emotion while satisfaction is a cognitive condition. Happiness is often caused by an external stimulus that brings a sense of satisfaction, while joy develops internally being sourced by a sense of peace within yourself and acceptance of what is happening around you. 

In the modern world, joy is something we experience that is deeper and more meaningful. Happiness is something we feel because of our situation or circumstances. We are happy because something made us happy, but we are joyful because of something within us. Our desires often lead our happiness, but joy is celebrated within.  You may notice the Bible often uses the word joy instead of happiness. Finding the term happiness in the Bible is rare. Instead, the Bible focuses on joy. There is a sense of gentleness in some of the verses that reflect what the experience of joy can be for many people. 

What The Bible Tells Us

When you study Bible verses about happiness, a few things stand out. According to Christianity and the Bible, Jesus Christ wanted to create peacemakers with a joyful heart, and he talks a lot about salvation and redemption. First, we can have inner happiness even when we are in difficult situations or experiencing sufferings and sorrow. Everything does not have to be right in your world for you to experience the feeling of being happy. If you keep your eye on the bigger picture, it is easier to rise above the trials and tribulations of life and still find reasons to be happy that are full of grace. For Christians, keep your focus on God and eternity can make it easier to experience happiness even in challenging times. 

The following verses reflect this intentional celebration of joy. 

God, Jesus, And Rejoicing

The Bible talks about righteousness. In John 10:10, Jesus said, "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life and have it to the full." What do quotes like this mean? We are not meant to merely make it through life. We are supposed to live life to the fullest. What does that look like? It is happy and joyful. We are not supposed to simply be alive in the sense that our heart is beating, and we have breath in our lungs. We are supposed to have a life that we enjoy.

Bible Verses About Joy From God

Hebrews 12: 2

“Looking to Jesus Christ, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”

Psalm 1: 1-3

"Oh, the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand around with sinners, or join in with mockers. But they delight in the law of the Lord, meditating on it day and night. They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season. Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do."

1 Timothy 6: 6

“But godliness actually is a source of great gain when accompanied by contentment [that contentment which comes from a sense of inner confidence based on the sufficiency of God].”

Psalm 28:7

"The Lord is my strength and shield. I trust him with all my heart. He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy. I burst out in songs of thanksgiving."

Isaiah 12: 3

“With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.”

Psalm 16: 11

“You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.”

Ecclesiastes 9:7

“Go, eat your bread with joy, and drink your wine with a merry heart, for God has already approved what you do.”

Deuteronomy 33:12

“About Benjamin he said: ‘Let the beloved of the Lord rest secure in him, for he shields him all day long, and the one the Lord loves rests between his shoulders.’”

Psalm 37: 4

“Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.”

Psalm 34: 5

"Those who look to him for help will be radiant with joy; no shadow of shame will darken their faces."

Romans 15: 13

“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.”

Psalm 15: 13

"I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit."

Psalm 37: 7

“Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; do not fret when people succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes.”

Isaiah 61: 10

“I will greatly rejoice in the Lord; my soul shall exult in my God, for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation; he has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself like a priest with a beautiful headdress, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.”

Bible Verses about Happiness And Everlasting Joy Through Obedience

Psalm 19:8

"The commandments of the Lord are right, bringing joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are clear, giving insight into living."

Romans 5:2

“Through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God.

Psalm 119: 1-3

"Joyful are people of integrity, who follow the instructions of the Lord. Joyful are those who obey his laws and search for him with all their hearts. They do not compromise with evil, and they walk only in his paths."

Luke 15: 7

“In the same way, there is more joy in heaven over one lost sinner who repents and returns to God than over ninety-nine others who are righteous and haven’t strayed away!”

Philippians 2: 12

“Dear friends, you always followed my instructions when I was with you. And now that I am away, it is even more important. Work hard to show the results of your own salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear.”

James 1:3

“Because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.”

Proverbs 29: 18

“Where there is no revelation, people cast off restraint; but blessed is the one who heeds wisdom’s instruction.”

Psalm 119: 91-93

"Your regulations remain true to this day, for everything serves your plans. If your instructions hadn't sustained me with joy, I would have died in my misery. I will never forget your commandments, for by them you give me life."

Psalm 19:8

“The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes.”

Psalm 16:20

"Those who listen to instruction will prosper; those who trust the Lord will be joyful."

Ecclesiastes 3:13

"Also that everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil—this is God’s gift to man”

Psalm 16:11

"You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever. You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”

Hebrews 12: 1-2

Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Proverbs 8:32-35

"And so, my children, listen to me, for all who follow my ways are joyful. Listen to my instruction and be wise. Don't ignore it. Joyful are those who listen to me, watching for me daily at my gates, waiting for me outside my home! For whoever finds me finds life and receives favor from the Lord."

1 Timothy 2

“I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession, and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus.”

Matthew 5:10

“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

Matthew 25:23 

“His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’”

Acts 2

“Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest in hope”

Bible Verses About Happiness Through Difficult Times

Psalm 30:11

"You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing. You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy,"

Do You Need Support In Finding Happiness In Your Life?

Psalm 126:5

"Those who plant in tears will harvest with shouts of joy."

Romans 5:3-5

“Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”

Proverbs 15:13

“A glad heart makes the face cheerful, but heartache crushes the spirit.”

James 1: 2-4

"Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing."

Philippians 4:11-13 

“Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things, I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

2 Corinthians 6:10

"Our hearts ache, but we always have joy. We are poor, but we give spiritual riches to others. We own nothing, and yet we have everything."

Psalm 105:2

“Sing to Him, sing psalms to Him; Talk of all His wondrous works!”

2 Corinthians 8:1-3

"Now I want you to know, dear brothers and sisters, what God in his kindness has done through the churches in Macedonia. Many troubles are testing them, and they are very poor. But they are also filled with abundant joy, which has overflowed in rich generosity. I can testify that they gave not only what they could afford, but far more. And they did it of their own free will."

Joel 2:23

“Be glad, people of Zion, rejoice in the Lord your God, for he has given you the autumn rains because he is faithful. He sends you abundant showers, both autumn and spring rains, as before.”

Colossians 1:9-12

"So, we have not stopped praying for you since we first heard about you. We ask God to give you complete knowledge of his will and to give you spiritual wisdom and understanding. Then the way you live will always honor and please the Lord, and your lives will produce every kind of good fruit. All the while, you will grow as you learn to know God better and better. We also pray that you will be strengthened with all his glorious power, so you will have all the endurance and patience you need. May you be filled with joy, always thanking the Father. He has enabled you to share in the inheritance that belongs to his people, who live in the light."

Proverb 17:22

“A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.”

Galatians 5:23

“Gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”

James 1:2

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds.”

Job 5:17

“Blessed is the one whom God corrects; so do not despise the discipline of the Almighty.”

What If You Are Not Happy?

If you struggle with feelings of happiness, it is easy to read through verses and wonder how you are supposed to get that feeling yourself. If you do not "feel" happy, does that mean you are doing something wrong? After all, the Bible talks about how being obedient brings joy. However, we need to remember that joy and happiness are not the same things and life is tough.

There are many strategies you can use to increase your level of happiness in life. Here are a few options to consider:

Practice Self-Care

Self-care is crucial for your overall happiness. If you are not taking care of yourself, it will become increasingly difficult to find happiness. Make sure you are getting enough rest every night, eating the right food, and exercising. Exercising and physical activity increases the endorphins in your brain that help to boost your mood. So, if you are feeling a little down, put on your tennis shoes and hit the pavement.

Forgiving yourself and others is also a good practice of self-care. Forgiveness not only has positive healing effects, but it can release unnecessary emotional burdens from you, thereby opening the path toward reconciliation, love, and happiness. Take for example the Bible verse about forgiveness in Proverbs 17:9 that states, “Love prosper when a fault is forgiven.” Love yourself, forgive yourself.

Practice Meditation

Meditation is an effective way to take control of your feelings and anxiety. Meditation can also be a pure form of treatment and help you release anger. The power of meditation runs through your bones in an enlightening way. It makes you feel lighter and down to earth. If you are no happy because you are worried and overwhelmed with life, try using practicing meditation. There are several resources, including apps and through the Internet, that can guide you through simple mediations. 

Alternative Treatments

This includes a wide range of activities. For example, it could be horse therapy, art therapy, or even acupuncture. Find out what works for you and boosts your mood, and then include it in your regular schedule. You can even just practice giving to others or volunteering as a means to find joy. Kindness and helpful behavior is a measure of altruism (selfless concern for the well-being of others) that impacts the emotional state of those who give and those who receive. Find an organization or cause that you believe will make a positive impact in this world. Giving your time can benefit your community while bringing a sense of fulfillment and joy within yourself and to the people you help.  

How A BetterHelp Therapist Can Support Your Joy

Reading the Bible and following the wisdom provided within can be one step toward discovering true happiness. But, if you are unable to self-soothe or find comfort in your self-motivated strategies to feel, it is wise to seek medical help. You may be experiencing in underlying mental health disorder, such as depression, or a medical condition that is causing these low mood symptoms. Speak with your healthcare provider or make an appointment with a licensed psychologist who can help you discover why you are feeling the way you do. 

Mental health professionals are trained to help you take steps to help you discover why you may be having a difficult time in feeling happiness and joy. In fact, there is a subset of psychology known as positive psychology that focuses on enabling individuals to discover their strengths and build strategies in flourishing as human beings.  No matter if you are managing a mental health disorder or want to talk to a professional to develop strategies in finding more happiness in your life, a licensed therapist is an excellent option for you to get the support you need. You may be unable to make an appointment with a therapist in-person due to cost, inaccessibility, or time constraints. Know that you have an alternative with online therapy. You may even find it to be more accessible and cost-effective than in-person sessions. Furthermore, research shows virtual therapy to be just as effective as in-person therapy. 

If you would like to speak to an online licensed therapist, consider BetterHelp. Our online therapy platform that can match you with a licensed professional who can offer guidance to improve your mental health and overall wellbeing. The following reviews will give you an idea on the therapeutic relationship you have the opportunity to build with a counselor. 

Counselor Reviews

"Kimberley has been compassionate, helpful, and informative. I immediately felt better emotionally after receiving such tremendous support. I love it that she is open to talking about aspects of my faith experience, good and bad. I always leave our sessions feeling heard and supported."

"Julie has a lot of compassion, she gets to know her patients, she gives me tools and techniques to deal with issues. She is encouraging, yet forces me to think. We also do some faith-based counseling which is very important to me."


There is going to be tough times in life. But if you find you are struggling to be happy, get the help you need. A trained counselor can help you work through your past, hurts from others, and dealing with the consequences of bad decisions. They can also help you even if you do not understand why you are having such a difficult time being happy. Life is meant to be enjoyed, and each person can experience this joy. If you are not, it is time to get help so you can. Take the first step to a joyful and fulfilling life today.

For additional help & support with your concerns

The information on this page is not intended to be a substitution for diagnosis, treatment, or informed professional advice. You should not take any action or avoid taking any action without consulting with a qualified mental health professional. For more information, please read our terms of use.
Get the support you need from one of our therapistsGet Started