Finding Joy

This is the excerpt for your very first post.

I started this blog to inspire and encourage women to a deeper Faith in Jesus Christ.  I have found in my life that the Lord often uses our deepest pain as the launching pad to our deepest calling.  After, my divorce I found myself in world of hurt and pain, it was only through my relationship with Jesus Christ I graduated from a Healing Heart (my last blog) to a Joyful walk with my Heavenly Father.

I was in a difficult time of transition in my life, and things didn’t appear to be working out very well. I was single for the first time in many years, working for a ministry to abused women, but was having a hard time finding joy in any situation. I was getting by just barely emotionally as well as financially.  I thought my priorities were in line. I was serving God and others in ministry but, I wasn’t feeling JOY.; I was feeling STRESS and loneliness.

Joy is something we all long for, but often thru our pain seems difficult to grab hold of.

The first thing I needed to realize is that joy is not the same as happiness. Happiness is circumstantial and is fleeting. Joy is a heart posture. The root word for joy in the Greek is chara, which is closely related with the Greek charis for “grace.” Joy is both a gift of God as well as a response to the gifts of God. Joy comes when we are aware of God’s grace and His favor.

I have found that the way to experience joy is to focus on God, through His word, worship music and most importantly fellowship. Rather than dwelling on our difficulties or those things that are robbing us of our contentment, we can dwell on God.  Believe me, this is not to say we should deny our pain and hurt or stuff our negative emotions. We can learn from many of the psalmists, we can pour out our hearts to God. We can come before Him and tell Him all the things that are hurting us. But, then we need to submit those things to Him and remember who He is.  Look to Psalm 3, 13, 18,43 and 103 for great examples.

After several moments of prayer and praise the stress from my life started to lift and I began to sense the sweet presence of the Lord. As I knelt in prayer and spending time in God’s word, worshiping my Creator, slowly I felt my joy returning to my life.

Since that time, like the Apostle Paul, “I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.   For I can do all things through Jesus Christ who strengthens me.” Phil 4:12

Dear brothers and sisters, whenever trouble comes your way, let it be an opportunity for joy. For when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow and blossom. Fully surrender to the loving arms of our Father.  Grow in the Grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ our Savior, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be strong in character and ready for anything.

So when you feel like your joy is running low, get into the presence of the Lord today. Spend time in prayer and praise to your Creator. He will fill you with joy and develop in you endurance for anything He calls you to do.

Author: Cheryl Cooper Downum

My name is Cheryl Cooper Downum, I have been a survivor of childhood sexual and a victim of a stalker and sexual assault at 15. I endured a painful divorce in 2015. As I’ve walked this journey, I’ve found myself growing closer to Jesus. My heart is now infused with empathy for others that find themselves in this place. And, God has given me a story, a message of hope to share. A message birthed in my brokenness that brought forth a sweet-surrendered dependence on God’s unconditional acceptance and love. The reason I am writing this blog is; I have found in my life that the Lord often uses our deepest pain as the launching pad to our deepest calling. My desire is to encourage His children to seek a deeper relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ. I hope that as you read my blog, you will feel inspired and encouraged. Thank you for visiting! God Bless! The Lord has also blessed me abundantly with 3 beautiful grown and married adult children.

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