We believe the following 22 Bible verses about joy have the power to turn your attitude around.
In the words of American theologian Reinhold Niebuhr “Humor is a prelude to faith and laughter is the beginning of prayer.” St. Thomas Aquinas himself said “It is requisite for the relaxation of the mind that we make use, from time to time, of playful deeds and jokes.“
Thank you to pastor Laura Gentry for compiling the following list of Bible verses about joy (and laughter!)
14 Bible Verses about Joy in the Old Testament
The ancient Psalms are filled with expressions of human emotions, some of which are great joy. Many personify the earth to imply that nature itself rejoices. So when we laugh, we are laughing along with the earth!
- “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.” — Proverbs 17:22
- “Clap your hands, all you nations; shout to God with cries of joy.” – Psaml 47:1
- “God has a smile on His face.” — Psalm 42:5
- “God, who sits in Heaven, laughs!” — Psalm 2:4
- “He that is of a merry heart has a continual feast.” — Proverbs 15:15
- “I commend mirth.” — Ecclesiastes 8:15
- “I will turn their mourning into joy, I will comfort them and give them gladness for sorrow.” — Jeremiah 31:13
- “Let the shield exult and everything in it. Then shall all the trees of the forest sing for joy.” — Psalm 96:12
- “Let your heart be merry.” — Judges 19:6
- “Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth; break into joyous song and sing praises.” — Psalm 98:4
- “The pastures of the wilderness overflow, the hills gird themselves wiht joy; The meadows clothe themselves with flocks, the valleys deck themselves with grain, they shout and sing together for joy.” — Psalm 65:12-13
- “Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy; then it was said among the nations, the Lord has done great things for them.” — Psalm 126:2
- “You have turned my mourning into dancing; You have taken off my sackcloth and clothed me with joy.” — Psaml 30:11
- “You shall go out in joy, and be led back in peace; the mountains and hills before you shall burst into song, and the trees of the field shall clap their hands.” — Isaiah 55:12
8 Bible Verses About Joy in the New Testament
Notice that the verses about Christ and his coming speak emphatically of joy. This is why many of the Christmas carols have the word “joy” in them: Christ brings joy!
- “Although you have not seen Jesus, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy.” — Peter 1:8
- “Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh!” — Luke 6:21
- “But in so far as you are sharing Christ’s sufferings, so that you may also be glad and shout for joy when his glory is revealed.” — Peter 4:13
- “I have said these things to you,” Jesus said to his disciples, “so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete.” — John 15:11
- “The angel said to Mary: You will have joy and gladness and many will rejoice at the birth of your son.” — Luke 1:14
- “The angels said to the shepherds: Do not be afraid, for see – I am bringing good news of great joy for all the people.” — Luke 2:10
- “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.” — Matthew 18:3
- “When the wise men saw that the star had stopped over the place where the christ child lay, they were overwhelmed with joy.” — Matthew 2:10
A few churches in the USA use laughter for inner healing, and it works for them. Read more.
Here is what Rev. John and Pattie Chappell (www.laughcry.org) recommend you do: “When you are feeling discouraged or have hurts that need healing, close your eyes, force yourself to raise your head, and begin praising the Lord in tongues or English for a minute or two. Then begin saying ‘Hee, hee, ha, ha, ho, ho!’ and repeat it several times. If you cooperate with the Holy Spirit, this will usually release a flow of holy laughter. If that doesn’t work, try saying, ‘Ho, ha, hee, hee’ or ‘ho, ho, hee, hee, ha, ha! This is not being silly. It is being spiritual! God takes the “foolish things of the world to confound the wise.” These words are holy words, heavily anointed by the Holy Spirit, and amazingly effective. To the natural mind, this “method” is so absurd, so ridiculous, but it will usually produce holy laughter in anyone. God’s methods bear fruit.”
Recently there has been a liturgical reclamation of what is known as “Laughter Sunday,” “Holy Humor Sunday” or “Lighten Up Sunday”. It is sometimes observed on the fourth Sunday of Lent, which is called “Laetare Sunday,” which comes from the first word of the traditional collect for the day – Rejoice.
It is also sometimes observed during Eastertide. Early Orthodox churches gathered on the Monday after Easter to tell stories, jokes and anecdotes. To this day in Slavic regions Christians gather the day after Easter for folk dancing and feasting in the churchyard. This was a time of celebrating the big joke that God pulled on Satan. It is known as Bright Monday, White Monday, and Emmaus Day in various countries. It is also called it ̃Risus Paschalis” – God’s Joke, the Easter Laugh.
Whenever “Laugher Sunday” is celebrated, and by whatever name, it is characterized by joking around, singing, dancing, and merry-making. And it reminds participants that God is a God of laughter as well as of sorrow – much as God is Lord of the valleys as well as the mountain tops (Genesis 21:1-6).
Hymn: “Give to Us Laughter”
Words: Walter Farquharson
Tune: Slane (Be Thou My Vision)
1. Give to us laughter, O Source of our life. Laughter can banish so much of our strife! Laughter and love give us wholeness and health. Laughter and love are the coin of true wealth.
2. Give to us laughter as sign of deep joy; let us in laughing find Christian employ, joining with stars and with bright northern lights, laughing and praising and sharing delights.
3. Even in sorrow and hours of grief, laughter with tears brings us healing relief! God, give us laughter, and God, give us peace, joy of your promise among us increase.
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