“Restore to me the joy of your salvation…”~ Ps 51:12a
David pens these words after being confronted by the prophet Nathan. Nathan confronts David because of his deception, infidelity, and murder of his battle buddy Uriah. The entirety of Psalm 51 is a beautiful picture of a man that is broken by the conviction of His God and the severity of his sin. I would recommend taking time with this Psalm to see a heart posture of true repentance. I want to focus in on this particular verse and look at the depth of David’s heart-position as he unpacks it for us. While we are studying this together I want you to place your besetting sin in your mind. Think of the sin that continues to draw you away from your First Love. The sin that you find yourself saying, “It’s just my flesh pattern, or fleshly bent.” The danger is that we can minimize our sin because it’s not infidelity, or its not murder, etc. Hold that temptation or sin in your mind and let’s apply scripture to it!
David leads us into the thought of “restore”. One of my bucket list desires is to restore a car or pickup to its original condition. I don’t know the first thing about restoring a vehicle, but I have had a longing to learn the process and see something that was broken and wrecked fully restored to its original glory. David’s heart is making the same plea; but for his own soul before his God. There has to be a restoration in his own heart. My study Bible states that, “David suffered from a spiritual dullness that led to moral bankruptcy.” I am curious to how many men walk the earth in the trap of “spiritual dullness”? Men that wake up tired, head to a job they don’t like, and come home to a broken family… only to do it all over again the next day. There are also plenty of men who are surrounded with “good things” and yet find themselves “spiritually dull” on the inside… just going through the motions. David’s spiritual dullness made the moral decline a plausible plan, as his heart grew more and more distant from the Father’s heart.
Something is missing in David’s heart as spiritual dullness takes its grasp… joy. David is slapped in the face with his confrontation from Nathan and the thing he notices is missing is joy. Not just earthly joy, but the joy of the Lord’s salvation. Dr. Jack Miller was a professor at Westminster Theological Seminary and is credited with the quote, “Preach the Gospel to yourself every day.” This is what David is putting into practice. This kind of joy only comes from realizing what we have been saved from. We experience this joy by humbling our hearts before our King and restoring our personal relationship with Jesus. He IS joy! Do you find yourself lacking joy? The Biblical answer is to have the joy of His salvation restored to your heart and mind. This can only be accomplished when we surrender to Him; seek Him; and position our hearts in humble obedience to the powerful working of the Holy Spirit.
Do you remember the besetting sin I asked you to think about at the beginning? The first step in breaking the power of that sin that robs your joy is by making a declaration out loud… “this particular sin is powerless to bring the joy my heart longs for.” Denying its perceived power to bring fulfillment and joy, sets the stage for the Spirit of God to “restore the joy of His salvation”. The true joy you are longing for today is the same joy David cried out for 3000 years ago. The same God that did the work of restoring David’s joy is anxiously waiting to loose His joy in full restoration to your heart today. If you find yourself broken and wrecked, then remind yourself of the joy of the Gospel daily and watch the joy of His salvation restore you and fill your life!
You may be saying, “What’s the Gospel”? If you’ve never surrendered your heart to Christ as Lord, then my friend, you are one sincere prayer away from experiencing the love, joy & peace of God invade your life… giving you lasting joy regardless of your circumstances. Find a Bible and read through Romans. You will meet Jesus and understand what His death and resurrection rescued you from. Then you can rejoice in the joy of your own salvation!
With the joy of His salvation!