Welcome to Joyful Living Online Bible Study!
If someone were to ask you, “what is joy?”, how would you answer? Everyone
wants to be happy, but life throws many curve balls that we simply are not
expecting. So many things can threaten our joy if we don’t understand that joy
does not come from the things we do or experience.
You may have had moments in life where you wondered if joy was possible.
Maybe you have been hurt by people or maybe life’s circumstances have been
devastating at times. If this describes any part of your existence, then Joyful
Living Bible Study is for you.
At the end of this study you should be able to answer four questions:
- Where does joy come from?
- Are joy and grief compatible?
- What specifically can we be joyful and thankful for in any circumstances?
- How can these Scriptures help us when life is hard?
Be sure to hop on over to “Women Growing In Joy” to take part in the interactive portion of the study which includes discussion, asking your questions, and getting to know other like-minded women! The study will start on 01/30/2023.
- Read “Joyful Living When Circumstances Are Not.” It should take you 5 minutes or less. This will help you understand why these Scriptures are so important when life gets complicated.
- Watch this video. It shows you how to get the most out of this study. It is only 6 minutes long.
What you will need
- Pad or paper to take notes
- Word Study tools: I like to use the Blue Letter Bible. If you have never used it here is a tutorial.
- To read the Scriptures in other translations, Bible Gateway is free, easy to use, and very helpful.
- “Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. The ESV text may not be quoted in any publication made available to the public by a Creative Commons license. The ESV may not be translated into any other language.
- Blue Letter Bible
- Bible Gateway
No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted by any means without prior permission in writing from the author. Copywrite 2022 TheCreatorsClassroom.com
Week 1 – Joy comes from relationships
Begin each day in prayer, asking God to guide you and open your understanding to His truth.
- Begin by reading Hebrews 12:1-2
- Jesus had terrible circumstances facing Him, yet he had joy. What were the circumstances?
- How would you define the word “endure”? Look it up in the Blue Letter Bible and use the interlinear tools. Strong’s definition and Thayers Greek Lexicon give you a really good idea of what this word means.
- What gave Jesus joy in spite of the circumstances? (look up John 18:9, John 17:12, John 10:28-30)
- Even the disciples were going to go through difficult circumstances but something was waiting ahead that would bring joy. What was it? (John 15:1-11)
- Read John 15:1-11
- Jesus says the same thing in 6 different ways. Anytime something is repeated we need to pay attention. What does He tell us to do?
- According to verse 11, what is the end result?
- So where does joy come from?
- Read John 16:16-22 (labeled in many Bibles “Jesus’ death and resurrection foretold”.)
- Why were the disciples going to be sorrowful?
- Have you ever lost someone you love to death?
- In verse 20, how does Jesus reassure His disciples?
- Just like the disciples were going to see Jesus again, we too have the promise of heaven and being with Him forever. Is this enough to sustain us in our temporary afflictions? (We have hope for a glorious future.)
- Read Romans 12:12
- According to this Scripture, we can have joy because of what?
- Because of our hope we can keep moving forward even in what?
- How would you define “tribulation”? Use the Blue Letter Bible to find your answer. (Google actually brings up a good answer also to the query, “what is tribulation?”)
- Read Romans 15:13
- This Scripture says Joy and peace come from what?
- Read Romans 10:9-10. What are we to believe?
- Read Matthew 2:1-10
- In verse 10, why were the magi full of joy (rejoiced exceedingly)?
- Any encounter with Jesus should produce great joy. Do you have a relationship with Jesus? When did your relationship begin?
- If you don’t know Jesus, this should help answer some of your questions: Belief vs. Faith – Why Does It Matter? (https://thecreatorsclassroom.com/belief-vs-faith-why-does-it-matter/) Christian Faith For Beginners (https://thecreatorsclassroom.com/christian-faith-for-beginners
Week 1 summary
Joy comes from relationships, and most importantly, a relationship with Jesus.
That is where the real joy begins.
Take a listen to this song recorded by B.J. Thomas: “Home Where I Belong“
“When I’m feeling lonely, and when I’m feeling blue, it’s such a joy to know that I
am only passing through.”
Week 2 – Joy comes from our faithful God
- Read Psalm 4:1, 7-8
- Who gave the writer joy?
- Does “grain and wine” sound like a big party? Think back to a party that you went to that was lots of fun. How did everyone act?
- So how much joy did the writer receive?
- If you look at the verses between 1 and 8 you will see that the writer had many enemies. However, what was he able to do in verse 8?
- Do you see a connection between joy and peace?
- Read Psalm 5:11
- We can be glad because God is what to us?
- How would you define “refuge”? If need be look it up in the Blue Letter Bible, in a dictionary, or ask Google. Remember that the Blue Letter Bible will have the most accurate definition of Biblical meaning.
- When has God been a refuge for you?
- Read Psalm 16:8-11
- Where do we find joy according to verse 11?
- How often was the writer in God’s presence?
- Are you aware of God being with you continually? He actually is, but we must recognize it to have this joy he gives.
- In verse 10, what won’t God ever do to His children?
- Read Psalm 30:1-5
- What did the writer rejoice over? (it was physical)
- Do we have deliverance from the same thing but spiritually? (see Romans 6:23, Ephesians 2:5)
- Read Psalm 92:1-8
- Verse 1 lists two things that are good to do – what are they?
- What is the result of those two things?
- Verse 2 tells us to do something each morning. What is it? How would this influence our day for good?
- Verse 2 also tells us to do something each evening at the end of our day. What is it?
- How would you define faithfulness? (see Isaiah 63:7, Lamentations 3:22)
- Journaling is one way we can declare, tell, or make known God’s love and faithfulness. Also telling friends and family.
- Verse 4 lists one reason we should be glad. What is it? When we look around us we see so many things that God has made. What do you find especially pleasant in creation?
- Read Psalm 119:105-112
- The writer had a lot of difficulties. Yet in verse 11 he says that God’s word brings him joy. (The Psalms use many different words to refer to the Scriptures. The word “testimonies” is one of them.)
- What parts of Scripture bring you joy? (a particular book, or Bible verses)
Week 3 – Joy and sorrow can coexist
- Read Galatians 5:22-23
- Where does joy come from? So can we conjure it up on our own?
- What is a prerequisite to have the fruit of the spirit? (see John 15:5)
- What else goes hand in hand with joy? (especially the first 3 listed in verse 22.)
- Read 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
- When are we to rejoice?
- Now that we are in week 3, what have you learned so far that allows joy even when life is hard?
- Read 1 Thessalonians 1:5-6
- Verse 6 talks about “tribulation” and “joy” in the same sentence. Look back to week 1, day 4. How did you define tribulation?
- So can troubles and joy be present at the same time?
- Have you ever been in the middle of some difficult circumstances yet still had
- joy? (Praying, Lord this is hard but thank you that you still love me and still give me purpose.)
- Read Philippians 2:1-4
- Joy overflows to others and is complete when what other things happen?
- Read Philippians 4:4-9
- Now compare this passage with Galatians 5:22-23. What “fruits of the spirit” are mentioned here in Philippians (though not called that)
- Read Isaiah 61:10
- What is our ultimate reason for joy according to this verse?
Take a listen to this song recorded by Steve Green. “That’s where the joy comes from.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9chU6q5pISo
Week 4 – Joy comes from the unchanging Word of God
- Read Jeremiah 15:16
- What brought joy to the writer of this Scripture?
- What are some Bible verses that bring you joy?
- Read Nehemiah 8:5-10
- This passage takes place after Jewish exiles have returned from captivity, and had completed rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem. Many of them had not heard God’s words until now. Have you ever been so overcome with emotion at hearing or reading a passage of Scripture that it brought you to tears? Explain.
- What did Nehemiah tell them in verse 10?
The word of God ultimately brings joy!
- Read Habakkuk 3:17-19
- Verse 17 describes a pretty dismal situation. What is it?
- Do we see this happening in some places in the world today? Could it happen where you live?
- Despite hard times, in what could the writer find joy?
- Read 1 Chronicles 16:8-12 & 31-34
- When we seek the Lord (deliberately go after Him), what are the results? (vs 10-11)
- Are we the only part of creation that demonstrates how amazing God is?
- List all that declares His glory in these verses.
- Read James 1:1-6
- Joy can come from what? (vs 2)
- What is the end result if we count this as joyful? (vs 3-4)
- Trials can cause us to have questions about what to do next. What does vs 6 say about our questions?
- Read 1 Peter 1:3-9
- Verse 6 says that “In this, you greatly rejoice.” What was it? (vs 3-5)
- In verse 8 what words did the writer use to describe the degree of joy we can have in Jesus? On a scale of 1-10 (1 being none and 10 being ultimate joy), what would you say his joy level was?
Summary questions for joyful living study
- The world is ever-changing. We could lose everything at any given moment. Nothing is guaranteed. So why are these Scriptures so important in our lives? Where does joy come from?
- How can these Scriptures help us when life is hard?
You will find a companion article on Joyful Living here:
“Joyful Living When Circumstances Are Not.” https://thecreatorsclassroom.com/joyful-living-when-circumstances-are-not/