Verses about JOY abound in the Bible. Here are ten of my favorites....
1. "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 16:22
2. "These things have I spoken to you, that my JOY may be in you, and that your JOY may be full." John 15:11
3. "He will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of JOY." Job 8:21
4. "For His anger is but for a moment, and His favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may tarry for the night, but JOY comes in the morning." Psalm 30:5
5. "You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with JOY, that my heart may sing your praises and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will praise you forever." Psalm 30:11-12
6. "You make known to me the path of life; you fill me with JOY in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand." Psalm 16:11
7. "Consider it pure JOY, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance." James 1:2-3
8. "And provide for those who grieve in Zion--to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of JOY instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of His splendor." Isaiah 61:3
9. "Shout for JOY, you heavens; rejoice you earth; burst into song, you mountains! For the Lord comforts His people and will have compassion on His afflicted ones." Isaiah 49:13
10. "Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy!" Psalm 126:5
OK...Now I need to admit something. I just realized this afternoon that it was the 10th of the month, and I started wracking my brain trying to think of something I could list ten of. I'm short on time this afternoon...we're leaving in about 45 minutes for a basketball game in Conway...and I thought, "I'll just make a list of my ten favorite JOY verses, and I won't need to write any commentary with it."
Well, as I typed this list, I was struck by how many of these verses have the word "JOY" juxtaposed with grief, tears, trials, affliction, etc. Maybe that's just because I'm drawn to verses like that because of my own experience, and that's why these are my favorites. Or maybe it's because that's how God so often works ... allowing us to experience heartbreaking sorrow, but always following it up with a restoration of JOY. And maybe it's also because our capacity for JOY expands based on the depth of our sorrow ... the greater the sorrow we've experienced in life, the greater our ability to experience true JOY. And, of course, the JOY we experience here on earth is nothing compared with the fullness of JOY we will know when we are reunited with Him and our loved ones in Heaven someday.
Wow. I don't know about you ... but I really needed this Ten on the Tenth!