Joy as Human Destiny: 10 Quotes on Joy

I believe that human beings were created for joy and are ultimately destined for joy. However, there are many things that keep us from joy. It might make us wonder whether joy is even possible. Here are 10 different quotes on joy that provide a variety of perspectives on it. In spite of the variety, all of them converge on the priority of joy for the human life, in spite all of its perplexities and challenges.

  1. “Joy is the serious business of Heaven.” — C.S. Lewis, Letters to Malcolm: Chiefly on Prayer 93.
  2. “Above all, my dear Lucilius, make this your business. Learn how to feel joy” (The Stoic philosopher Seneca, Letter XXIII).
  3. “What is the rising-to-life of the new self? A. Wholehearted joy in God through Christ and a love and delight to live according to the will of God by doing every kind of good work. — The Heidelberg Catechism, Q&A 90
  4. “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Romans 15:13).
  5. “What is the chief and highest end of man? A. Man’s Chief and highest end is to glorify God, and fully to enjoy him forever.” — The Westminster Larger Catechism, Q&A 1
  6. “But even so, amid the torpedoed Atlantic of my being, do I myself still for ever centrally disport in mute calm; and while ponderous planets of unwaning woe revolve round me, deep down and deep inland there I still bathe me in eternal mildness of joy” (Ishmael in Moby Dick, Chapter 87.375)
  7. “[T]he right kind of love for the right kind of God bathes our world in the light of transcendent glory and turns it into a theater of joy.” — Miroslav Volf
  8. “For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit . . .” (Romans 14:17).
  9. “True spirituality frees us to live joyfully in the present” (Peter Scazzero, Emotionally Healthy Spirituality, 71).
  10. “Have you not tolerated this heaviness and sorrow long enough and spent your time being melancholy?…God is pleased with the joy of His children [and wants them] to…leap for joy and sing His praises with joyful…lips” (Wilhelmus à Brakel, The Christian’s Reasonable Service, 2.37).


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