Well here we are in the month of April already. Is it just me or is this year just flying by or what. This year in the month of April the church will celebrate the greatest day of all for the church and that is Easter Sunday! What a day to rejoice this day is; the Lord has risen from the grave and the penalty of death that was there because of our sins has been taken away because of the death and resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ; can I get a big Amen right about now.
As believers, the resurrection of Jesus from the grave means everything to us. It is what keeps us going through the many hard times we face in our life. It is the good news we share with those who are lost. As it says in 1 Peter 2:10 “Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.” This is great news of joy for the whole world and much more for people of God yet I am afraid that we may have allowed the enemy to come into our churches and into our personal lives and rob us of that joy.
David’s cry to the Lord after he had been confronted of his sin with Bathsheba by Nathan the prophet, says in Psalm 51:12 “Restore to me the joy of Your salvation and grant me a willing spirit to sustain me.” I sense that this may be a cry that the church needs to make to the Lord today for I believe the joy of the Lord’s salvation has either waned or is missing altogether in many people and churches.
I often wonder if the reason the joy of the Lord is not so evident in our own lives and in the life of the church is because maybe we have allowed the sins and ways of the world to creep into our personal lives and into the life of our churches.
A man of the world would say, “I don’t care how I am made happy just so that I am happy.” A Christian man must be heard to say, “But I can be made happy only in one way, I must be happy in my God.” It is a mournful sight to see when someone, a church or even our own lives have lost the joy of the Lord’s salvation. We read in the Scriptures that the joy of the Lord is our strength yet why is it that so many of God’s people seem to constantly live defeated lives.
David’s joy had been robbed because he had been in sin. If we are sensing a lack of joy in our life we may need to do some personal examination to see if there is any sin in our hearts. Is bitterness in our hearts? Are we having offense against anyone; and it doesn’t matter if we are right here folks. Have we become critical of others or the church? These are just a few of the things that will certainly rob us and our churches of our joy.
Notice to who it was that David was calling out to for restoration; the Lord. David cried out, “Restore to me the joy of YOUR salvation.” Only the Lord can restore the joy of His salvation; not money, position, self-righteousness, fame or anything else that we think of.
E. Owen writes about the joy of salvation: “Joy in the retrospect of the past, for salvation is a past blessing,. It is something that has taken place already. The joy of present possession, for salvation is a present blessing, the deliverance from pollution a present continuous thing. The joy of future prospect, for salvation is a future blessing, something we expect or long for.” In other words, the joy of the Lord’s salvation is truly all that we need to be complete!!!
The restoration of the joy of the Lord’s salvation was what David truly desired for his life. There are many things that come across my life that are desirable for me, I could give you a long list but I won’t, yet all those things only please me for a season and they soon fade away. The Psalmist writes in Psalm 73:25 “Who have I in heaven but You? And earth has nothing I desire besides You.” What is it that you desire above all things today? Remember, the Lord knows our heart.
David also asked the Lord to grant him a willing spirit to sustain him. The fact that David, this shepherd boy who had spent countless hours alone in the fields praising and communing with his Lord, had realized that his joy was gone shows the depth to where he had fallen. Because of that David asked the Lord to sustain him so that he would never again come to this place in his life.
If you sense in your heart that you have lost your joy, cry out to the Lord today so that He may restore you once again to that blissful place. Ask that He also give you a willing spirit to sustain you so that you will never come to this place again. Psalm 80:19 “Restore to us O Lord God Almighty; make Your face shine upon us. that we may be saved.”
Easter is the day that our joy came; may we never lose that joy for that is what the world is thirsting and seeking for today. See we have the answer for the world’s despair, but it first must be real to us. He’s alive and He lives in our hearts; restore to us O Lord your joy!!!
Categories: A Pastor's Blog