Finding Joy When Life Isn’t Joyful – 5 Tools

Does God want us to have joy? Absolutely. We need it. The Bible says, “A merry heart is like medicine to the soul.” Proverbs 17:22. Finding joy is possible even when life isn’t joyful. Jesus told His disciples,

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

What Is Joy?

Some people equate happiness with joy. While they are similar, they have quite different origins. Happiness depends on the circumstances. If the situation goes one direction we feel happy. If it goes another direction we feel sad. Happiness can be like a roller coaster ride with extreme highs and lows.

Joy, on the other hand, can be maintained regardless of the circumstances. It can be found even when we feel sad. The problem often is where we are trying to find our joy. You can’t expect to find diamonds in quicksand. Likewise, you can’t find joy if you are searching in the wrong places.

Finding Joy In A Relationship With Jesus

According to the Bible, Jesus is the author of Joy. This is where we need to begin our journey. Without this relationship, we would be searching for happiness, which is fleeting. If you have questions about how to begin a relationship with Jesus, please call or text 888-NEED-HIM, or you can go to Someone is waiting there to talk to you.

Bible Reading And Prayer

Photo of someone reading their Bible. Knowing Jesus through scripture reading and prayer is the number one way to find joy when life is hard.

No matter where you are in life’s journey or the depth of your relationship with God, there will always be something to address your needs in the Bible.

I have a habit of not jumping around in scripture but reading whatever comes next. God always amazes me the way He orchestrates my circumstances to coordinate with “what comes next”. Some might call this a coincidence, but it has happened too many times for me to believe that. With God, there are no coincidences. His timing is perfect. He uses everything in our lives for our good and His glory. Romans 8:28

When God has given me direction, comfort, or insight through scripture, I can’t help but praise Him in prayer. This is why I love to read my Bible just before going to sleep. I often have a heart full of joy because of God’s communication which is better than any pharmaceutical sleep remedy.

Humorous Stories

A merry heart is like medicine to our souls and bodies. Research has proven that laughter helps boost our immune system and assist in healing. Likewise, humor is a way to release unnecessary levels of adrenaline from our bodies and to relax our “flight or fight” response to stress.

Many times I have seen the humor in the actions of our animals here on the farm. Often I have had to acknowledge that my behavior is much the same, just a bit more sophisticated. Through humor, God has lovingly pointed out areas where I need to grow in my relationship with Him. Other times, the humor is just that – – funny moments. From time to time I will share these stories so you can laugh too.

Finding Joy In Nature

I have a very small rose garden – 4 bushes to be exact. Though few in number, the roses bring an immense amount of joy to my life. As buds emerge, as fragrances are released, as petals open, all remind me of God’s great love to provide such pleasure through His creation.

photo a rose from my garden- one of the ways that I find joy in nature

I also have plants that attract butterflies. It is so fascinating to see their larvae munch on dill plants, grow in size, then disappear for a time as they morph into beautiful butterflies. Nature can have a calming effect on our bodies as God speaks to us through His creation.

Photo of one of the bubutterfly plants described in the text along with a butterfly.

When visiting a friend in Galveston, I had the pleasure of visiting with this pelican. I will forever believe that he was laughing at something funny that I said. Moments like these help in finding joy when life is hard.

Photo of a pelican that looks like it is laughing, with text overlay that says, "A merry heart is like medicine."  Nature can help us find joy when life is hard.

Finding Joy In Everyday Moments

Sometimes life seems mundane, ordinary, repetitive. Yet in these moments we can find joy and grow in our relationship with God.

Twice a week my job has been to drive grandchildren to school. Afterward, I like to take care of errands. I had a long “to-do list” on one particular day. Much to my dismay, everything got derailed as one of the children had forgotten their lunch. This would not have been a big deal except this child has special needs and eats only very specific foods. It sent me on a rabbit trail trying to find these items as the school is 15 miles from home. In my rearranged day, the Lord gave me the opportunity to encourage someone. I realized in that ordinary, grandma taxi moment, that God had better plans for me than a “to-do list.”

Over two thousand years ago Jesus used everyday moments to teach people about spiritual truths. He will do the same for us through OUR everyday moments.

Where Are You Looking For Joy?

I trust that you are searching for joy in all the right places. Jesus wants to give you joy. You will find it in a relationship with Him as you read scripture and pray. You will also find it in humor, nature, and in your everyday moments. God uses everything in our lives as a classroom to teach us how to find Him and how to have hope, joy, and peace.

Finding Joy: A Gift For You

I would like to give you the coloring page shown here (or use as a scripture card). It is to remind you that even if we are sad, we still can have joy in the Lord.

Simply click on the photo to download. No email required.

When printed on card stock in a smaller size, it can easily be laminated and hung by twine or ribbon.

Also see the resource page for journal pages, books, and music about finding hope, joy, and peace.

Photo depicting a joyful moment with overlay of title, "5 ways to find joy when life isn't joyful"

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