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Don’t Confuse Joy with Happiness
By Victoria Osteen - Aug 30, 2022
When was the last time you were facing a difficulty or going through a trial or test and "joy" was the first word that came to your mind? Perhaps never? We're far more likely to think that once we finally get through the challenge, then we'll have some peace and joy. But the Scripture says just the opposite: "Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance" (James 1:2-3).

So how do we get that joyful mind-set? We have to first understand that despite what it feels like, our trials are meant to increase us, not to decrease us. They are meant to build our faith up and produce perseverance in us. When we're walking through a difficulty, we have a choice to consider it joy or consider it hardship, and if we consider it hardship, we're going to begin to complain and lose any joy we have. But when we consider that our Almighty God has allowed us to face the trial, we know that He can use it to bring something good into our life. Our decision then becomes to discover the good, not the bad, and to joyfully endure the trial. Our joy is not found in the trial or pain but in our Father in heaven, the source of all strength, the God who is in control of it all.

What are you believing about the trial or test that you're struggling with today? Are you upset and complaining that it's not what you want? No hope, no faith, and no joy will arise from those thoughts. Or are you believing that "the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit" (Romans 15:13)? Are you saying, "God, help me find Your strength; be my source," or are you trying to do it on your own?

Today, I have one word for you: "rest." Just rest in God's peace. Believe that "the joy of the Lord is your strength" (Nehemiah 8:10). Abide in His joy, for that's where you're going to find your strength to endure. Don't let joy elude you. And don't think joy is happiness. We all want to be happy, and we all want things to go our way, but happiness comes and goes. Joy abides in us and is a gift from Almighty God. Realize that the joy of the Lord is His calm delight. It's the rest in Him. It's the peace in Him.

Don't let the enemy steal your joy. Remember, it abides in you. It's God's gift that will take you from strength to strength.
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