This article is by Joel and Victoria Osteen
I don’t know about you, but when I’m going through a trial or test, “joy” is not the first word that comes to mind. I’m more likely to think that once I get through the difficulty, I can throw my hands up in the air and say, “It’s finally over! Now I can have some joy.” But the Scripture doesn’t say that. Rather, it says, “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trails, knowing that the test of your faith produces endurance” (James 1:2–3).
Our trials are never meant to decrease us; they are meant to increase us. They are not meant to tear our faith down but 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. We don’t find joy in the trial or pain. We find joy in the God who is the source of all strength, the God who is in control of it all.
If you’re struggling with a trial or test today, what are you believing about it? Are you believing you can’t make it through it? No hope, and 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, you need to hear this one word, “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. 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.