Happiness is a subjective concept. You cannot define that which is subjective and perceived by each person differently.
If you ask each person, each will give you a different answer. Multiple definitions have been given for this word, but none of them is complete enough nor does it fully conform to what each person expects.
The Word of God helps us in these moments to define the parameters that lead us to happiness, as well as how to enjoy and maintain it in the midst of any circumstance.
A true Christian should concentrate on seeking the happiness that God offers, not the happiness that the world offers because it is temporary, worldly, and plagued by sin, injustice, and violence.
On the other hand, the happiness that God brings is peaceful, full of justice, love, joy, and peace, and allows you to stand firm in the midst of circumstances.
What does the Bible say about Joy and Happiness?
Happiness is a subjective word whose meaning varies depending on the context and the concept the person has in mind.
Some define it as “a state of satisfaction or complacency in which the person who enjoys it experiences well-being with him/herself and with other people”.
Of course, these concepts are based on the idea of satisfying human needs, leaving aside essential aspects of life, such as faith and Christianity.
Humanity is programmed to seek happiness. We are always looking for it, whether we know it or not. We do it because we want to be happy naturally, instinctively, and per-cognitively.
The Word of God does not give a philosophical or psychological definition of it, but it contains references and topics to let us know what it consists of and how to obtain it.
Here are 51 Bible verses that talk about happiness and rejoicing.
“Be always joyful. Pray without ceasing. Give thanks to God in every situation, for this is his will for you in Christ Jesus”. 1 Thessalonians 5.16-18
“For the Lord your God is in your midst as a victorious warrior. He will delight in you with joy; he will renew you with his love; will rejoice over you with singing” Zephaniah 3.17
“Rejoice in hope, show patience in suffering, persevere in prayer” Romans 12:12
“Rejoice in the Lord always. I insist: Rejoice!” Philippians 4:4
“When my anguish was increasing, your consolation filled my soul with joy” Psalms 94:19
“This is the day on which the Lord has acted; let us rejoice and be glad in Him” Psalms 118:24
“When good times come to you, enjoy them; but when bad times come to you, think that both are the work of God, and that man never knows what he will meet afterwards” Ecclesiastes 7.14
Joy and Happiness in the Old Testament
The word rejoice in the Old Testament is closely associated with the Hebrew verb samach, which also appears in all periods of Hebrew and about 155 times in the Bible.
It denotes a spontaneous emotion, an intense joy expressed visibly and/or outwardly. Emotions that arise during feasts, such as circumcision, weddings, and harvests, or celebrating a victory over an enemy.
Happy in general is one who is exempt from physical or moral pain.
A term almost exclusive of the sapiential books, and denotes in praising or congratulating a person for the happiness that has come his way, while highlighting the reason for that happiness.
“Thou hast made known to me the path of life; thou shalt fill me with joy in thy presence, and with everlasting joy at thy right hand” Psalms 16:11
“I delight greatly in the Lord; I rejoice in my God. For he has clothed me with the garments of salvation and covered me with the robe of righteousness. I am like a bridegroom wearing his diadem or a bride adorned with her jewels” Isaiah 61:10
“It is very gratifying to give the right answer, and even more gratifying when it is timely” Proverbs 15:23
“You are my refuge; you will protect me from danger and surround me with songs of deliverance” Psalms 32:7
“Your statutes are my abiding heritage; they are the joy of my heart” Psalms 119:111
“For the Lord delights in his people; to the humble he gives the honor of victory” Psalms 149:4
“A cheerful heart is a great remedy, but a drooping spirit dries up the bones” Proverbs 17:22
“I rejoice in the way of your statutes more than in all riches” Psalms 119:14
Bible Verses For Living A Victorious Life
Joy and Happiness in the New Testament
Unlike the Old Testament, Jesus, when addressing the Jewish people in the Sermon on the Mount, established a new conception of attaining happiness. The Beatitudes describe a person who experiences extreme happiness, someone who receives a blessing; a wish, expression or gift for the benefit of another.
A very contrary conception to that of the ancient scribes and Pharisees, who considered that happiness was more material: accumulation of land, wealth, prestige and sanctity through external purification rituals.
On the other hand, Jesus teaches us that through internal changes, these lead as a consequence to external changes in the life of the person, in addition, he tells us the temporary effects that are experienced in this life and the eternal effects that this happiness will give us.
“You love him even though you have not seen him; and, although you do not see him now, you believe in him and rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy, because you are obtaining the goal of your faith, which is your salvation” 1 Peter 1:8-9
“So far you have not asked for anything on my behalf. Ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be complete” John 16:24
“Each one should give according to what he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver” 2 Corinthians 9:7
“Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn” Romans 12:15
“Instead, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, humility, and self-control. There is no law that condemns these things” Galatians 5:22-23.
“In this way, by God’s will, I will come to you with joy and will be able to rest among you for some time” Romans 15:32
“I have told you this so that you may have joy in me and so that your joy may be complete” John 15:11
“While he was still speaking, a luminous cloud appeared and enveloped them, out of which came a voice that said: This is my beloved son; I am very pleased with him. Listen to him!” Matthew 17:5
Happiness in the middle of trials and tribulations.
In life we will have periods of trials and tribulations, we will face diverse problems that serve God’s purpose of exhorting and growing our faith, maturing our character.
The problem is that many Christians become depressed, discouraged, and stop seeking God when it is in the midst of trials that we must seek God more intensely.
God has promised to be with us, and as long as we seek Him from the heart, we can be sure that we will have joy and gladness in the midst of such circumstances.
Therefore, let us not grieve or deny ourselves when we are in the midst of difficulty.
“Though the fig tree flourish not, and there be no fruit on the vines; though the olive harvest fail, and the fields yield no food; there be no sheep in the fold, and no cattle in the stalls; yet will I rejoice in the Lord, I will be glad in God my deliverer!” Habakkuk 3:17-18
“Therefore, I rejoice in weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and difficulties that I suffer for Christ; for when I am weak, I am strong” 2 Corinthians 12:10
“In fact, without faith, it is impossible to please God since anyone who approaches God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him” Hebrews 11:6
“And not only in this, but also in our sufferings, for we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, strength of character; strength of character, hope” Romans 5:3-4
“Seemingly sad, but always joyful; poor in appearance, but enriching many; as if we had nothing, but possessing everything” 2 Corinthians 6:10
“But for you who fear my name, the sun of righteousness will rise, bringing health in its rays. And you shall go forth leaping like freshly fed calves” Malachi 4:2
Taking care of joy & happiness
Happiness is not tied to the material goods of this world. Even family and friendships are not eternal.
Therefore, at the same time that we are granted happiness and rejoicing, it is also necessary to be prudent and take care of this joy, as well as to keep it always alive with the fire of the Word of God.
“It is true that with true religion there are great gains to be made, but only if one is satisfied with what he has” 1 Timothy 6:6
“To the rich of this world, command them not to be arrogant and not to put their hope in riches, which are so insecure, but in God, who provides us with everything in abundance for us to enjoy” 1 Timothy 6:17
“However, do not rejoice that you are able to subdue the spirits, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven” Luke 10:20
“My son, if your heart is wise, my heart too will rejoice” Proverbs 23:15
“Remember your Creator in the days of your youth, before the evil days come, and the years come when you say: I find no pleasure in them” Ecclesiastes 12:1
“Deceit dwells in those who forge evil, but there is joy for those who promote peace” Proverbs 12.20
“Moreover, to whom God grants abundance and riches, he also grants to eat of them, and to take his share and enjoy his cares, for this is God’s gift” Ecclesiastes 5:19
Sharing the joy and happiness with family & friends.
And just as we have the opportunity to steward and preserve this joy, we are also called to share our happiness with our relatives and friends.
This happiness that is given to us as a gift from God is not exclusive to us. As Christians, we are called to manifest and share our joy with the afflicted, the needy, the poor, and the unfortunate of the world.
We can start with the members of our household and our work, even if it is difficult and incomprehensible to them, let us show what God has done in us and the joy that we have been given as an opportunity to call others to the way of Christ.
“The father of a righteous man rejoices greatly; he who has a wise son rejoices in him” Proverbs 23:24
“I want to be glad and rejoice in you, and sing psalms to your name, O Most High” Psalms 9:2
“Nothing brings me more joy than to hear that my children are practicing the truth” 3 John 1:4
“I know that there is nothing better for man than to rejoice and do good as long as he lives, and I also know that it is a gift of God that man should eat or drink and enjoy all his cares” Ecclesiastes 3:12-13
“Then Nehemiah added, “You may go now. Eat well, drink sweet drinks, and share your food with those who have nothing, for this day has been consecrated to our Lord. Do not be sad, for the joy of the Lord is our strength” Nehemiah 8:10
Go, eat thy bread with joy, and drink thy wine with good cheer, for God is well pleased with thy works!” Ecclesiastes 9:7
“But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. Behold, I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all the people” Luke 2:10
“I tell you that it is also so in heaven: there will be more joy over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need not repent” Luke 15:7
“The future of the righteous is bright; the hope of the wicked fades away” Proverbs 10:28
“But let all those who trust in you rejoice; let them always shout for joy, because you defend them; let those who love your name live happily” Psalms 5:11
“Your words were found, and I ate them. Your words have been to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart; for I am called by your name, O Lord God of hosts” Jeremiah 15:16
“The precepts of the Lord are right: they bring joy to the heart” Psalms 19:8
“A wise son is his father’s joy; a foolish son is his mother’s sorrow” Proverbs 10:1
“You put more joy in my heart than to have wheat and wine in abundance” Psalms 4:7
Happiness is a different concept for each person. It does not depend exclusively on material goods, nor does it depend only on having a family and a job.
Happiness is an inherent desire of the human being; as people, we are always in constant search of joy and happiness, and we do not rest until we obtain it.
God’s Word offers us the right direction to achieve happiness and also gives us instructions on how to administer this joy and share it with our brothers and sisters.
Since joy is a gift from God, as we receive it, we should also share it with others and reflect God’s love in our lives.