Joy in God is an essential part of being a believer. When we’re joyless, we’re much more prone to give in to temptations than when God is our joy.
The post is part of my book launch, God’s Triumphant Mercy: A Reflection of Psalm 51
Restore to me the joy of your salvation . . .
For a Christian, sin kills our joy in God. Instead, misery and even despair can easily set in. It presents itself as a pleasure-giver, which it does produce for a brief time, “but in the end she is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword” (Pr. 5:4).
Sin is costly. Generally speaking, the smaller the sins, the less devastation we experience; the greater the sins, the greater will be the devastation. We reap what we’ve sown. Paul wrote: “Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap” (Gal. 6:7).
For a few moments of sinful pleasure, David greatly suffered for the rest of his life. From the moment of his adultery with Bathsheba and then the killing of her husband, he didn’t experience the joy of the Lord. It was only after Nathan’s confrontation and his repentance that the restoration process started.
The Bible teaches that “the joy of the LORD is your strength” (Neh. 8:10). When we’ve no joy, life becomes a great burden. Joy is an essential part of the Christian life. Paul wrote that part of his ministry was to “work with you for your joy” (2 Cor. 1:24). In Colossians, he prayed: “May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy” (Col. 1:11).
When there’s no joy in God, we’re prone to find it in other ways and by other means. When our stomach is satisfied after a good meal, it’s easy to reject junk food. On the other hand, when we’re hungry, the temptation for unhealthy food is much stronger.
The same is true with our craving for joy and pleasure. When we have the “joy of the LORD,” we’re able to resist the temptations to sin much easier than if we’re joyless. That’s why the pursuit of joy in God is vital and prayer is a significant part of that.
David asked God to restore the joy in His salvation. He had lost it. The good news is that God is our Redeemer. His salvation is infinitely greater than our sins. He’s able and willing to do so when we turn to Him. Jesus came to give us “the oil of gladness instead of mourning,” and, “the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit” (Isa. 61:3).
Heavenly Father, restore to me the joy of Your salvation.
The Devotional Writer
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