Yeah, it’s pretty much impossible to narrow down hundreds of happy Bible verses into a list of seven. So, to make it easier, I’m pulling a handful from the Book of Psalms, which is where I often go when I need an extra dose of delight. Let the impossible begin!
1. “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). This is a good reminder: we’re not missing out on ANY joy when we walk with God. The Christian’s joy is FULL and it extends into eternity!
2. “Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes in the morning” (Psalm 30:5). I can’t tell you how many times I’ve preached this to myself when I’m sad, especially at night. I realize this is poetry, but the hope of joy in the LITERAL morning really comforts me — not to mention the promise of new mercies (Lamentations 3:23).
3. “Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart” (Psalm 37:4). It’s true, God actually commands us to be happy. Don’t mind if I do! I like how Randy Alcorn puts it: “When God invites you to a party, say yes.”
4. “Restore to me the joy of your salvation” (Psalm 51:12). Although this is a psalm of repentance written after David’s affair with Bathsheba, there’s an important truth here: we’re designed for joy, but sin separates us from it. The sins we think will make us happy actually destroy our happiness, and we need God to restore it. I’ve prayed this so many times. I’m thankful God listens.
5. “Your testimonies are my heritage forever, for they are the joy of my heart.” The never-ending Psalm 119 (this is verse 111) is all about God’s law, which is meant for our joy, and not to be a burden (1 John 5:3). Keep this verse handy when you start believing the lie that God doesn’t want us to be happy.
6. Psalm 139. The whole thinggggg! David doesn’t use literal happy words here, but this song can’t be sung without unbridled joy! God KNOWS us, UPHOLDS us, CREATES us, DEFENDS us, CONVICTS us, and LOVES us. I think this psalm has given me more joy than any other.
7. “For the Lord takes pleasure in his people; he adorns the humble with salvation” (Psalm 149:4). Wait… God takes pleasure in ME? I’m glad this verse is in the Bible — and others like it, such as Zephaniah 3:17 — because I need a reminder in my goal to delight in God that he also delights in me. An allegorical reading of The Song of Solomon conveys this mutual love between God and his people beautifully… but I’ll save that for another blog.
Of course, the psalms also touch on unhappy emotions — and sometimes I need those verses too — but what I find interesting is that they almost always circle back to joy. The collection of 150 songs ends with a series of happy doxologies culminating in praise to God, much like the Bible itself. And our lives, too, if we’re doing it right.