A Narrow-Minded Woman is building a dictionary of theological terms and Biblical references. Today we define the word "joy." Joy is a characteristic of the fruit of the Spirit. It is deeper, eternal, and independent of our circumstances. Our joy is found in the person of Christ.

Define: Joy





  1. a) the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires : delight
    b) the expression or exhibition of such emotion : gaiety
  2. a state of happiness or felicity : bliss
  3. a source or cause of delight

My Definition:

Joy is more than just being happy. Joy is hope in what is outside of our current emotions or circumstances. Christian joy is placed in the person of Christ. While happiness can be fleeting, joy is eternal. We can have joy even in very trying and sorrowful times. It is so much deeper and outside of ourselves. It is one of the characteristics that should be used to describe a Christian.


A Narrow-Minded Woman is building a dictionary of theological terms and Biblical references. Today we define the word "joy." Joy is a characteristic of the fruit of the Spirit. It is deeper, eternal, and independent of our circumstances. Our joy is found in the person of Christ.“And do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” (Nehemiah 8:10b)

You have put more joy in my heart
    than they have when their grain and wine abound. (Psalm 4:7)

But let all who take refuge in you rejoice;
    let them ever sing for joy,
and spread your protection over them,
    that those who love your name may exult in you. (Psalm 5:11)

I will be glad and exult in you;
    I will sing praise to your name, O Most High. (Psalm 9:2)

But I have trusted in your steadfast love;
    my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.
I will sing to the Lord,
    because he has dealt bountifully with me. (Psalm 13:5-6)

You make known to me the path of life;
    in your presence there is fullness of joy;
    at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. (Psalm 16:11)

The law of the Lord is perfect,
    reviving the soul;
the testimony of the Lord is sure,
    making wise the simple;
the precepts of the Lord are right,
    rejoicing the heart;
the commandment of the Lord is pure,
    enlightening the eyes; (Psalm 19:7-8)

The Lord is my strength and my shield;
    in him my heart trusts, and I am helped;
my heart exults,
    and with my song I give thanks to him. (Psalm 28:7)

Sing praises to the Lord, O you his saints,
    and give thanks to his holy name.
For his anger is but for a moment,
    and his favor is for a lifetime.
Weeping may tarry for the night,
    but joy comes with the morning. (Psalm 30:4-5)

You have turned for me my mourning into dancing;
    you have loosed my sackcloth
    and clothed me with gladness,
that my glory may sing your praise and not be silent.
    O Lord my God, I will give thanks to you forever! (Psalm 30:11-12)

Be glad in the Lord, and rejoice, O righteous,
    and shout for joy, all you upright in heart! (Psalm 32:11)

For our heart is glad in him,
    because we trust in his holy name. (Psalm 33:21)

Then my soul will rejoice in the Lord,
    exulting in his salvation. (Psalm 35:9)

My lips will shout for joy,
    when I sing praises to you;
    my soul also, which you have redeemed. (Psalm 71:23)

Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth!
    Serve the Lord with gladness!
    Come into his presence with singing! (Psalm 100:1-2)

Those who sow in tears
    shall reap with shouts of joy!
He who goes out weeping,
    bearing the seed for sowing,
shall come home with shouts of joy,
    bringing his sheaves with him. (Psalm 126:5-6)

And the ransomed of the Lord shall return
    and come to Zion with singing;
everlasting joy shall be upon their heads;
    they shall obtain gladness and joy,
    and sorrow and sighing shall flee away. (Isaiah 35:10)

And the ransomed of the Lord shall return
    and come to Zion with singing;
everlasting joy shall be upon their heads;
    they shall obtain gladness and joy,
    and sorrow and sighing shall flee away. (Isaiah 51:11)

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. (Isaiah 61:10)

Your words were found, and I ate them,
    and your words became to me a joy
    and the delight of my heart,
for I am called by your name,
    O Lord, God of hosts. (Jeremiah 15:16)

Though the fig tree should not blossom,
    nor fruit be on the vines,
the produce of the olive fail
    and the fields yield no food,
the flock be cut off from the fold
    and there be no herd in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the Lord;
    I will take joy in the God of my salvation. (Habakkuk 3:17-18)

And Mary said,
“My soul magnifies the Lord,
    and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant. (Luke 1:46-48a)

And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,
“Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” (Luke 2:10-14)

“Blessed are you when people hate you and when they exclude you and revile you and spurn your name as evil, on account of the Son of Man! Rejoice in that day, and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven; for so their fathers did to the prophets.” (Luke 6:22-23)

“Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.” (Luke 10:20)

“These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.” (John 15:11)

“Truly, truly, I say to you, you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice. You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn into joy. When a woman is giving birth, she has sorrow because her hour has come, but when she has delivered the baby, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world. So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you.” (John 16:20-22)

“But now I am coming to you, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves.” (John 17:13)

Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 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. (Romans 5:1-5)

More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation. (Romans 5:11)

Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. (Romans 12:12)

For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. (Romans 14:17)

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. (Romans 15:13)

We put no obstacle in anyone’s way, so that no fault may be found with our ministry, but as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: by great endurance, in afflictions, hardships, calamities, beatings, imprisonments, riots, labors, sleepless nights, hunger; by purity, knowledge, patience, kindness, the Holy Spirit, genuine love; by truthful speech, and the power of God; with the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and for the left; through honor and dishonor, through slander and praise. We are treated as impostors, and yet are true; as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold, we live; as punished, and yet not killed; as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, yet possessing everything. (2 Corinthians 6:3-10)

In all our affliction, I am overflowing with joy. (2 Corinthians 7:4b)

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. (Galatians 5:22-23)

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. (Philippians 4:4)

And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; being strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy; giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. (Colossians 1:9-14)

And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you received the word in much affliction, with the joy of the Holy Spirit, so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia. (1 Thessalonians 1:6-7)

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)

But recall the former days when, after you were enlightened, you endured a hard struggle with sufferings, sometimes being publicly exposed to reproach and affliction, and sometimes being partners with those so treated. For you had compassion on those in prison, and you joyfully accepted the plundering of your property, since you knew that you yourselves had a better possession and an abiding one. Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised. (Hebrews 10:32-36)

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. (James 1:2-4)

Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls. (1 Peter 1:8-9)

Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. (1 Peter 4:12-14)

Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen. (Jude 1:24-25)


“There is joy in persecution because it shines a light on nominal Christianity and spurs the true Christians on to action.” ~ K Carla Nevers (@lvng4chrst)

“In a word, fear neither man nor devils, things present nor things to come, but follow on to know, love, and serve the Lord, and your joy shall be full here, and your glory great hereafter.” ~ Anne Dutton

“Give us closer abiding in Jesus that we may bring forth more fruit, have a deeper sense of our obligations to him, that we may surrender all have a fuller, joy, that we may serve him more completely.” ~ Valley of Vision (First Day Evening: The Teacher)

“That the grace of Christ may be with your spirit, and His hand with you in your work, to the glory of His name, the good of His people, and your own present joy and future crown, is my hearty desire.” ~ Anne Dutton

“Into His arms I commit you, earnestly desiring that happy morning of Divine favor which shall arise upon your soul when the short night of your present weeping is over; Christ will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and ‘your joy shall no man take from you.’ And meanwhile, though clouds and darkness cover you, commotions and tempests shake your mind, yet all is clear as to your state in the upper region of Christ’s love!” ~ Anne Dutton

“Our glory would not be so ineffably glorious if it were not to be enjoyed with Christ, nor the joys of heaven so ineffably sweet, if we were not to rejoice together with Christ. The once-suffering Head and the once-suffering members glorified together! O how will it enhance each other’s joy in glory! The sorrows both of Christ and Christians will then be turned into perfect joy, and their eternal joy and glory so much the greater for all the time-sorrows which they endured and the deaths which they survived, to reign in life together unto ages without end.” ~ Anne Dutton

“Joy isn’t the absence of sadness, it’s the presence of the Holy Spirit.” ~ Burk Parsons

“Mondays are a joy when we’ve understood our calling to serve God in whatever vocation we find ourselves as a gospel light to a dark world.” ~ Burk Parsons

“You’ve got to discipline yourself so that you live not on your feelings but on truth, and off the truth, springs the truest joy.” ~ John MacArthur

“May we long daily for heaven, pray daily for Christ’s return, and live daily content and joyful as we rest daily in the sovereignty of God.” ~ Burk Parsons

“Then lift up your head, and sing for joy of heart, seeing that your transgression is pardoned, your sin is covered, and in you Jehovah seeth not iniquity.” ~ Charles Spurgeon

A cheerful confidence I feel,
My well–placed hopes with joy I see;
My bosom glows with heav’nly zeal
To worship him who died for me. ~ William Cowper (“Jehova Jesus”)

“Do not be without the knowledge of Christ Jesus your Lord, for in him is ‘joy unspeakable, and full of glory.’” ~ Charles Spurgeon

“O pray that I may not deny my Lord in any wise, but that I may joyfully follow him, both to prison and to death.” ~ George Whitefield

“Suffering is the raw material out of which God brings about joy and His glory in the believer’s life.” ~ Sinclair Ferguson

“The aim of confession then is not to erase consequences, it’s to restore joy. And then the consequences are what they are. Your sins have consequences. They’re rocks thrown in the pond and the ripples go and they touch every shore. But God does promise when you’ve confessed and repented that He will show you loving kindness and compassion because you are His eternal child.” ~ John MacArthur

The Christian life is a life of continued repentance, humiliation for and mortification of sin, of continual faith in thankfulness for and love to the Redeemer and hopeful joyful expectation of a day of glorious redemption in which the believer shall be fully and finally acquitted and sin abolished forever.” ~ Matthew Henry

A Narrow-Minded Woman Articles

Psalms, Hymns, & Spiritual Songs: “Jesus Thou Joy of Loving Hearts”

Psalms, Hymns, & Spiritual Songs: “Joy to the World!”

Psalms, Hymns, & Spiritual Songs: “Rejoice, Ye Pure in Heart”

Psalms, Hymns, & Spiritual Songs: “Let Us with a Gladsome Mind”

Other Sources:


A Narrow-Minded Woman is building a dictionary of theological terms and Biblical references. Today we define the word "joy." Joy is a characteristic of the fruit of the Spirit. It is deeper, eternal, and independent of our circumstances. Our joy is found in the person of Christ.Archibald G. Brown: Christ’s Own Joy, is Our Joy!

Burk Parsons: Real Joy Comes from God

Charles Naylor: Joy in Trials

Charles Spurgeon: All Joy in All Trials

Charles Spurgeon: From Sorrow to Joy

Charles Spurgeon: Hope Even in Our Hopelessness

Charles Spurgeon: Joy, a Duty

Charles Spurgeon: Joy at Conversion

Charles Spurgeon: Joy Born at Bethlehem

Charles Spurgeon: Joy in Life’s Hard Times

Charles Spurgeon: Joy in Salvation

Charles Spurgeon: The Joy of Redemption

Charles Spurgeon: The Joy of the Lord

Charles Spurgeon: The Oil of Gladness

Derek Thomas: The Christian and Joy

Got Questions: The Fruit of the Holy Spirit – What is joy?

Got Questions: How can I experience joy in my Christian life?

Got Questions: How can I find joy in the midst of trials?

Got Questions: Is there a difference between joy and happiness?

Got Questions: What is the joy of the Lord?

H.B. Charles Jr.: Rejoice Always

Horatius Bonar: Night of Weeping; Morning of Joy (pdf)

JR Miller: The Joy of Service

JR Miller: The Joy of the Lord

John Angell James: Spiritual Joy

Kim Riddlebarger: Future Joy

Kim Riddlebarger: Why Does God Command Us to Rejoice Always?

Octavius Winslow: Spiritual Joy!

R.C. Sproul: The Foundation of Christian Joy

Randy Alcorn: Turning from Idols to Find True Happiness in God

Sinclair B. Ferguson: To Enjoy Him Forever

Stephen Charnock: A Discourse Of Delight In Prayer (pdf)

Theopedia: Joy

Thomas Watson: Christian Joy

Tim Challies: The Joy of Walking with God

Trillia Newbell: Joy in Our Work

William Gurnall: Glad Tidings and Joy


Chapel Library: Joy

Tony Reinke: The Joy Project (eBook)


Renewing Your Mind: Don’t Worry: Be Joyful

Renewing Your Mind: Counting It All Joy

Renewing Your Mind: How Do You Spell “JOY”?

Renewing Your Mind: The Greatest Joy

Renewing Your Mind: The Source of Joy



For additional definitions of words you may be curious about, check out our Dictionary page. This is a growing collection of words and I would love to hear what words, phrases, people, events, documents, philosophies, etc that you would like a defined here on A Narrow-Minded Woman. Please comment below or send me a private message with your ideas for future defining posts.