Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Restore My Joy

Chuckle: "I don't suffer from insanity; I enjoy every minute of it!"
Quote: "When a train goes through a tunnel and it gets dark, you don't throw away the ticket and jump off. You sit still and trust the engineer." --Corrie Ten Boom
"Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit to sustain me" (Psalm 51:12 NIV).
Today we continue to learn from King David's prayer of repentance after he had sinned against God by committing adultery with Bathsheba and having her husband, Uriah, killed so he could have Bathsheba for himself.
When we find ourselves out of touch with God and mired in sin, the first thing to go is our joy. Feelings of guilt and shame take the place of joy and make us miserable. Then we begin to doubt our salvation because we don't feel secure in our relationship with God.
Often, when we get to this point, we want to get as far away from God, fellow believers, and the church as possible because we feel unclean and unworthy. King David was suffering from these symptoms, but in his despair, he realized that God was the only one who could restore the joy of salvation that he had known prior to falling into sin. In his despair he asked God to restore his joy.
Jesus talks a lot about joy for his followers. Joy and happiness are often used as synonyms to describe euphoric feelings of peace, contentment, safety, and security. But for the purpose of our discussion, let's say that joy is a condition of the heart and mind that is not affected by external circumstances. It is a result of our loving relationship with God through faith in Jesus Christ.
On the other hand, happiness comes and goes depending upon circumstances. The kind of joy that God wants for his children is the kind that remains constant regardless of what is going on around us. Such joy causes us to praise God with an attitude of thanksgiving even when things around us are falling apart. It is that inner feeling that everything is under God's control and will ultimately be alright.
God wants us to be in close fellowship with Him and does not want sin to drive a wedge between Him and us. He wants us to experience His full, complete, and joyful life. But unconfessed sin makes such intimacy with God impossible. When you confess your sin to God, you may still have to face earthly consequences, as David did, but God will restore joy to your relationship with Him. Jesus said, "If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love . . . I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete" (John 15:9a,11 NIV). Only sin can remove that joy that God has given us and only God can restore it when we repent and turn back to Him.
Love, Jerry & Dotse


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