Joy and happiness. What’s the difference? Is there one? God has been showing me lately that there is indeed a difference. Happiness is fleeting. It comes and goes as things change. In other words, it is circumstantial, rather than consistent. Joy for the Christian, should be constant, as it comes as a result of a relationship with Jesus. Joy can and should be found amidst bad circumstances, simply because…

There is joy in knowing Christ- “Though you have not seen Him, you love Him. Though you do not now see Him, you believe in Him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” 1 Peter 1:8-9

Jesus is more powerful than any situation, and has and will have victory- “In this world you will have tribulation, but take heart. I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

God cares for us- “I will be your God through all your lifetime. I made you and I will care for you. I will carry you along and be your Savior.” Isaiah 46:4

And God will never leave us, nor forsake us. “It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” Deuteronomy 31:8

Last week, spent transitioning to the second semester, was a lot harder than the first time around 4 months ago. Due to homesickness, more challenging (in more ways than one) classes, and what felt like a whole lot of emotions at once, I wasn’t feeling very happy. This was pretty hard for me, because “happy” is generally one of the things that I always am. Through these things I’ve started to realize that happiness is something that depends on what’s going on around me, and is a feeling that can come and go. In my quiet time, God has been showing me that joy is something that is lasting, even in the more difficult times, as He carries me through. That in itself is something to be joyful about! As a note, this second week has been going a lot more smoothly, for a lot of reasons, but especially because of lots of prayers, some really great friends, a wonderful family back at home, and of course, the love and faithfulness of Jesus. Nevertheless, I know that challenges will arise in the future, and I am thankful that even though everything around me can and will change with time, Jesus is always the same (Hebrews 13:8), and that is something to be joyful about.

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