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Ungers Bible Dictionary uses the following definitions to describe joy {J. B. Payne, Theology of the Older Testament (1962)}:

1. Joy is a delight of the mind arising from the consideration of a present or assured possession of a future good. When moderate it is called gladness; raised suddenly to the highest degree it is exultation or transport; when the desires are limited by our possessions it is contentment; high desires accomplished bring satisfaction; vanquished opposition we call triumph; when joy has so long possessed the mind that it has settled into a temper, we call it cheerfulness. This is natural joy.

2. There is a moral joy, which is a self-approbation or that which arises from the performance of any good actions; this kind of joy is called peace, or serenity of conscience; if the action be honorable, and the joy rise high, it may be called glory.

3. Spiritual joy is called a “fruit of the Spirit” (Galatians 5:22); “joy in the faith” (Phil. 1:25). Its objects are God Himself (Psalm 43:4; Isaiah 61:10); the promises (Phil. 3:3; 1 Peter 1:8); the gospel (Psalm 89:15); the prosperity of Christ’s kingdom (Acts 15:3; Rev. 11:15, 17); the happiness of a future state (Psalm 16:9-11; Romans 5:2; Romans 15:13). This spiritual joy is permanent (John 16:22; Phil. 4:4) and unspeakable (1 Peter 1:8).

The Joy of the Lord is your strength (Nehemiah 8:10)

The better we understand God’s word, the more comfort we find in it; the darkness of trouble arises from the darkness of ignorance.

Joy is conceived of as touching the deepest springs of emotion, including the feeling of exultant gladness which often finds outward expression in such actions as leaping, shouting, and singing. Joy is repeatedly shown to be the natural outcome of fellowship with God. "In thy presence is fullness of joy; in thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore" (Psalm 16:11; compare 16:8-9).

Paul speaks of joy as one of the fruits of the spirit (Galatians 5:22) and of "joy in the Holy Spirit" as an essential mark of the kingdom of God (Romans 14:17). This joy is associated with faith (Phil. 1:25), and hope (Romans 5:2; Romans 12:12). Obtaining the desires and secret petitions of your heart is related directly to the amount of joy that you give to yourself. It is a personal responsibility to which we must be responsible. We secure our strength in the Lord by ensuring that the joy of the Lord is a part of our lives.


Psalms 5:11 But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them: let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee.

Psalms 21:1 The king shall joy in thy strength, O LORD; and in thy salvation how greatly shall he rejoice!

Psalms 32:11 Be glad in the LORD, and rejoice, ye righteous: and shout for joy, all [ye that are] upright in heart.

Psalms 35:9 And my soul shall be joyful in the LORD: it shall rejoice in his salvation.

Psalms 43:4 Then will I go unto the altar of God, unto God my exceeding joy: yea, upon the harp will I praise thee, O God my God.

Psalms 81:1 Sing aloud unto God our strength: make a joyful noise unto the God of Jacob.

Psalms 89:15 Blessed [is] the people that know the joyful sound: they shall walk, O LORD, in the light of thy countenance.

Psalms 95:1 O come, let us sing unto the LORD: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation.

Psalms 149:5 Let the saints be joyful in glory: let them sing aloud upon their beds.

Isaiah 51:11 Therefore the redeemed of the LORD shall return, and come with singing unto Zion; and everlasting joy [shall be] upon their head: they shall obtain gladness and joy; [and] sorrow and mourning shall flee away

Isaiah 55:12 For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap [their] hands.

Isaiah 61:10 I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh [himself] with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth [herself] with her jewels.

Isaiah 65:18 But be ye glad and rejoice for ever [in that] which I create: for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy.

33:11 The voice of joy, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride, the voice of them that shall say, Praise the LORD of hosts: for the LORD [is] good; for his mercy [endureth] for ever: [and] of them that shall bring the sacrifice of praise into the house of the LORD. For I will cause to return the captivity of the land, as at the first, saith the LORD.

Joel 1:12 The vine is dried up, and the fig tree languisheth; the pomegranate tree, the palm tree also, and the apple tree, [even] all the trees of the field, are withered: because joy is withered away from the sons of men.

Habbakuk 3:18 Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation.

Matthew 25:21 His lord said unto him, Well done, [thou] good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.