Category : General
Psalm 51: 12 (KJV)
12 Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.
It is said there is a joy in God’s salvation. Salvation itself, so far as it consists in a state of safety and acceptance, is equal in all believers; the joyful persuasion of it is not equal in all, being dealt out in various degrees by the free Spirit of God, and, on some occasions, even entirely taken away for a time.
Here we find the psalmist crying out to God, ‘Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation’. He was literally saying in his desperate plea, “Cause the joy of thy salvation to return.” This implies that he had formerly known what was the happiness of being a friend of God, and of having a hope of salvation. That joy had been taken from him by his sin. He had lost his peace of mind. His soul was sad and cheerless. Sin always produces this effect. The only way to enjoy religion is to do that which is right; the only way to secure the favor of God is to obey his commands; the only way in which we can have comforting evidence that we are his children is by doing that which shall be pleasing to him: 1 John 2:29; 3:7, 3:10. The path of sin is a dark path, and in that path neither hope nor comfort can be found.
He asks that God would clear away his sorrows as well as his sins, make once again a happy man of him; so that he may not only rise up from the ground on which he has fallen and go on his heavenly way, but, like the Ethiopian convert in the desert, go “on his way rejoicing.” “Make me to hear joy and gladness,” he says in Psalms 51:8, and here he prays, “Restore unto me the joy of Thy salvation.” “Pardon,” we should have said to David at this time, “is all that you must now dare to ask, pardon and renewed sanctification.” “No,” says David, “there is healing in my God for sinners such as I am, as well as pardon; there is comfort in Him for even men like me. I see them in Him, and I will ask them of Him. Restore unto me the joy of Thy salvation.”
We lose the joy (not salvation itself) by lack of cultivation. We know that we may sow a seed or plant a tree, but unless these are watered and cultivated, they will die. Christian joy must be cultivated by prayer, praise, and growth in grace. The joy is also loss by indulgence in sin, God will withdraw from the sinner, and then the” sunshine ceases. Moreover, we loose it by our lack of faith. We often blame circumstances, etc., as we fall into the slough, when it is our own doubts that are shutting out the light. No one can rejoice who does not trust. Confidence is the root of peace and doubt the handmaid of torment.
However, whenever there is departure from God, in direct proportion as it prevails, there is a tendency to lessen the believer’s joy. The Word is not what it once was to you; sermons are not what they once were to you; fellowship with the people of God is not what it once was to you. You have secret prayer, but it is not what it once was to you. There is a want of sweetness, there is a want of substance, there is a want of fruitfulness, there is a want of realization in your religion. Look well to it, for there must be a cause–some sin, some neglected duty, some worldly conformity. The soul recognized that its loss involves the displeasure of God. Hence the petition so earnestly urged. It is the Divine anger that takes away the joy. This is a greater sorrow to the Christian than his own loss. No wonder that the psalmist seeks for restoration. It would do us well to do likewise when this happens. The joy of a sufficient and final answer to the self-upbraiding of a guilty soul. “I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord,” etc. (Romans 7:25; 8:1-4; 8:33-39). The burden falls off; the darkness is chased by dawn
Have a great and God filled day!