Trying to live a good Christian life is not always easy. As a matter of fact, the truth is, the devil does everything he can to make it hard for us and hard on us. That is why it is vital that we suit up in God’s armor each and every day. We need to pray, read our Bibles, and spend quality time with God each and every day—not just on Sundays. (For more on this read my post The Devil Inside.)
It is also super important that we seek and find joy every day as well. Once you start spending more and more time with God, the easier it becomes to find that joy. However, while there is beauty all around us, opening our eyes to it and finding the joy in life, well…that can be hard. We all get busy and just living life gets in the way. So, I wanted to share something with you today that I know will help you. Well, it least it has helped me, so I want to pass it along.
So, what is the little golden nugget of advice I have for you today, you ask? What is it that will help you find more joy in life? Listen to music. More specifically, listen to contemporary Christian music. (CCM for short.) And, while I am at it, might I suggest listening to The Joy FM?*
I started my spiritual journey in earnest about seven years ago. I have been taking baby steps every day since—little, tiny, baby steps. And, all those little baby steps have added up over the years! One of the most crucial things I have realized is that listening to good Christian music can make a world of difference.
I specifically remember, a few years ago, lying in bed and it dawning on me that I needed Jesus all the time. Not just on Sundays, not just when I was depressed, not just when I was sick or needy, and not just when it suited me. I needed Him all the time: every day, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.
My next thought was, how on earth can I keep my focus on Him all the time? I actually started freaking out a little about it. I was already at a point in my journey where I was making sure to pray every morning before I got out of bed and every night before I went to sleep. I was spending time each day reading both my Bible and a devotional. Being married with a full-time job, doing contract work on the side, and living and dealing with what I refer to as a “mystery” illness that requires I get a lot more rest than normal women, what else could I feasibly do? Well, this is where the music comes in!
As some of you already know, I am a huge music fan. And, I listen to and love music of all different types. However, there is just something extra special about contemporary Christian music that fills me up, lifts my soul, and brings me joy. Instead of looking for joy with your eyes, listen to it with your ears and heart! It is amazing medicine for your soul.
I listen to music mainly in the car; flipping through radio stations, stopping any time I come across a song I like. During this specific time in my journey, I was already listening to CCM, just not all the time. But, once I started really listening to the lyrics of the songs, I basically started to transform my way of thinking. Songs were getting stuck in my head, that I would sing to myself all day. It really made a significant difference in how much I started thinking about Jesus each day. It really helped me focus on Him more and more. Now CCM is basically all I listen to. You really owe it to yourself to give it a try.
*Before I leave, I must share one more bit of advice with you. Listen to The Joy FM. They are a Christian radio station that has been serving the metro Atlanta area since 1981. They also have radio towers and can be heard in Florida and Alabama. And, thanks to the internet and an app, you can listen to them anywhere in the world. They are a nonprofit, listener supported station that is doing the imperative work of spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ. They promise to help you find joy, share joy, and be joy, and boy do they ever deliver! They are genuinely good people who truly care.
All of their DJ’s are great, but I especially love The Morning Cruise; Carmen Brown, Dave Cruse, and Bill Martin. Listening to them in the morning is like sitting down and hanging out with good friends. Come to think of it, they are more like family. They are our brothers and sisters in Christ. Spend a few days listening to them and I think you will agree. I encourage you to let The Joy FM and the contemporary Christian music they play fill up your heart, mind, and soul with God and joy. It is a very simple, but powerful way to help you keep your focus on God and bring you joy, each and every day.
There is beauty in the living and in figuring it all out.
There is beauty in the living and in finding the true meaning for yourself.
There is beauty in the living and in the day-to-day struggles.
There is beauty in the living and in the unexpected, sudden joys.
There is beauty in the living and in the occasional horrors, and deep ugly pits.
There is beauty in the living and in learning to recognize the unending graces and ceaseless blessings.
There is beauty in the living and in learning to find little nuggets of beauty in your life, by simply opening your eyes to them.
There is beauty in the living and in experiencing God’s true love for you.
There is beauty in the living and in the realization that God is always with you and for you.
There is beauty in the living and in the journey itself.
There is beauty in the living and in figuring it all out.
Sometimes in life, one is required to take a “leap of faith.” To me, a leap of faith, is where, as a Bible-believing, God-loving Christian, you step out in faith to do something you don’t feel comfortable doing, but you do so anyway, trusting that God will see you through it—whatever “it” is. This has been on my mind as of late. And, I felt the Holy Spirit compelling me to write about it. So, here I am.
As I have been pondering “leaps of faith” these last few days, a thought occurred to me. Each and every day of our lives, we all take small steps of faith. We all do things that we don’t necessarily know what the outcomes will be. What do I mean by this? Well, five days a week I get into my car to drive to work. I take it on faith that I will make it there. Most every day, I take our dog for a walk around our neighborhood. I take it on faith that we will make it back home safely. I do both of things so often, that I don’t even think about them anymore. They are just part of my everyday routine. I have certainly never thought about them as little steps of faith before. But, that is what they are, aren’t they?
In my drive to work, I could have a wreck. In our walks around our neighborhood, I could fall and sprain my ankle. I know that these are very real possibilities, but I choose not to worry about them, or for that matter, even think about them much. I mean, what would be the point? If I put my focus on all the bad things that *might* happen, I would never leave our house. And, God gave us life, and He wants us to live our lives to the fullest! God wants us to be joyful and content. God tells us in John 10:10, “I have come that you might have life and have it more abundantly.” He wants good things for us.
So, back to leaps of faith. Maybe there are some things that are looming over you, or things that are happening that are out of your control. (Heck, there really isn’t that much that is IN our control, is there?) Maybe there are some things that you NEED to do and maybe there are some things that you just desperately WANT to do. Maybe you lost your job and need to find a new one. Maybe you have been through some difficult times and want to move and start over with a clean slate. Maybe you want to start your own business, or maybe you just want to go back to school.
When it comes to making the big decisions that define our lives, it is normal to be scared about them. Truthfully, I would be worried about you if you were NOT scared about them. These big decisions are definitely scary and stressful and they can be life-changing. We often doubt ourselves and our choices. I mean it isn’t called a leap of faith for nothing!
Whatever your personal situation is, I think it will help you to remember that each day you are taking small steps of faith, and this can make those big leaps seem not quite so scary. And, the biggest most important thing to remember is that God loves you and He is FOR you.
I think that once you make that decision to take a leap of faith, you will be surprised with how much you can handle on your own. All you really need to do is give yourself a chance. Oh, and put your trust and belief in God. No matter what happens to you in life, He has always got you.
I am so glad you are here! I am Erica Strickland, a girl who loves God. My goal here is to simply share His love and light.