The beaming face has been replaced with a dutiful smile. “Yes, it is another great day to be alive. We can thank the Lord for that.” The spontaneous expressions of gratitude have been replaced with platitudes. A certain awkwardness overtakes you as you try to mingle with other believers. You wonder if they can sense something is wrong but you work hard to mask your feelings. You can still say all the right things, go through all the motions but something is missing.
What are you missing? You’re missing the joy of God’s salvation and the enjoyment of all the extraordinary blessings He brought you into when He saved you.
“King David – you aren’t smiling much these days. When we talk to you, you’re there but you’re not there. You seem preoccupied. We catch you staring off into space. Maybe you are simply daydreaming, but could there be more to it than that? You seemed to have stopped churning out the poetry. When have you last played the harp, and composed a new song of praise to your awesome God? Is something wrong? Have you lost something? What’s missing in your life?”
David’s response? Here it is:
Restore to me the joy of Your salvation
And sustain me with a willing spirit.
Then I will teach transgressors Your ways, And sinners will be converted to You.
Deliver me from blood-guiltiness,
O God, the God of my salvation;
Then my tongue will joyfully sing of Your righteousness.
O Lord, open my lips, That my mouth may declare Your praise.
(Psalm 51:12-15 NASB)
We weren’t far off. We suspected something was on King David’s mind. We detected a change. The joy just wasn’t there anymore. The vibrancy of his personal enjoyment of the Lord seemed to be missing. And it was. His lips had been zippered shut by something he did wrong. He was missing the joy of God’s salvation.
He lost his joy when he sinned. He committed adultery and then, to legitimize his relationship with Bathsheba, he schemed to have her husband snuffed.
Sin in my life kills my joy. Sin is vicious – it will darken your character; it will damage your integrity; it will kill your joy and cloud your sky. It will haunt your conscience. It will cripple you in life.
King David could only take the misery for so long. With a broken and contrite spirit, he turns to the Lord in Psalm 51 and dumps out his deep emotions, his guilt and sorrow over his sins. He knew he could not placate God with a Blue Ribbon Heifer for a sacrifice. An insincere person could go through those kinds of motions. Just lasso a cow and drag it to the altar. But to make things right, something far deeper than that had to happen. He said:
For You do not delight in sacrifice, otherwise I would give it;
You are not pleased with burnt offering.
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
A broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.
(Psalm 51:16-17 NASB)
Are you missing the joy of God’s salvation? Do you have sin in your life you must deal with? Be sure of this, it will never go away until you humbly confess it and make it right. Even unconfessed sin years later will hang over your head, robbing you of your joy and impeding your usefulness for the Lord.
Can you get on your knees today and deeply consider each verse in Psalm 51 as your own prayer to the Lord? Can you insert into the verses exactly what sin you have committed and be open with the Lord?
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1John 1:9)
With our sin fully confessed and dealt with in the Scriptural way, restoration will occur and the joy of God’s salvation will return.
Walk carefully and closely with the Lord today.
Warmly in Christ,