Have you ever just felt as if you have lost the joy of salvation that you once had? Remember when you first trusted Christ. Remember the joy and excitement that you felt brewing inside you! It didn’t matter who was around, they heard about how God saved you from Hell! You were willing and able to tell any and everybody that came along. Now church has become a dreaded chore. You’re faithful, but it won’t break your heart if you miss a service here or there. You rarely tell people about Jesus anymore. Bible reading has become a weekly thing instead of daily and bible study is almost nonexistent anymore.
Well don’t feel alone. You’re not the first Christian to ever get discouraged. You’re not the first to lose the joy of salvation. The Psalmist, David, went through the same struggle. If you study the life of David, you’ll find that David loved God. He arose early in the morning and spent precious time with the Lord. He knew how to have a powerful prayer life. Even God called David a man after His own heart. But in Psalms 51, we see a man that no longer has that joy. We see a man that is tired of his convicting conscience. We see a man that deeply longs and desires to once again have that personal fellowship with God. We see a man that desires to restore the joy of salvation.
There are many things in this life that can cause us to venture away from our walk with the Lord and will ultimately lead us to a life of misery and discouragement. We tend to consume ourselves with the affairs of this life more than we should. Though there are certainly many things that can discourage us and cause us to lose our joy, we can rest assured that the joy of salvation can be restored. Here are 4 truths to help us restore our joy.
1: A recognition
If we are to restore the joy of salvation, we must first recognize that the joy has been lost. Many churches today are dead because the pews are full of believers in denial. They have lost the joy of salvation, but their foolish pride keeps them from admitting it, therefore forcing them to live a lie. Here’s a piece advice to remember: When you backslide, you are tyically the last one to realize it. In other words, everybody else around you usually knows that something is up. Especially those who are closest to you. It may hurt your pride to admit that you have been overtaken with the affairs of this life and have lost the joy of salvaiton, but it will hurt even worse to continue living a lie. Even David said in verse 3 that his sin was ever before him. He had to first admit that he needed help before he could begin the next phase of restoring the joy he once had.
2: A Remembrance
If you want to have your joy restored, you must remember some truths. You must first remember your purpose. This is more than likely the whole reason you lost your joy to begin with. After you realize that you have lost your joy, you must realize that the joy was never about you. Your purpose was never to be anything great or to have your name in neon lights or even to preach or teach to large crowds in packed venues. Your purpose was and always will be to bring honor and praise to the Lord Jesus Christ. It was never about you. When we start thinking more highly of ourselves than we out to think, as the Apostle Paul put it, it is then that the joy begins to fade from our hearts because the joy of salvation was and always will be about the mercy, grace, and goodness of Almighty God!
When we remember our purpose we can then remember our position. Engulfing ourselves with the affairs of this life often leads us to forgetting just who we really are. We are a blessed people! As a born again child of God you are saved, sealed, and sanctified! This means that you have been saved from an eternity in eternal Hell, that because of the power of God we are no longer in danger of Hell, and that the Creator of the ends of the earth considers you worthy enough to be used of Him! There is no amount of money on the face of this planet that can give that feeling! We are His and we will soend eternity with Him! If we are willing to remind ourselves of our spiritual position, it will help revive and spark that joy!
3: A Renewing
In Psalms 51 we see David repenting. He longed once again to posess that joy in his heart. He longed to have that fellowship with his God once again. In order for that joy to be restored though, there had to be a renewing of his spirit. He asked God to “renew in him a right spirit.” He needed a heart for God. This meant that he was willing to turn from his wicked ways. This meant that David had to let God come into the most secret areas of his life and clean them up.
We say we want a heart for God, but do we really? Are you really willing to let God go into the deepest, darkest, and most secretive part of your heart and clean it all up? It is certainly no easy task. Even the Apostle Paul said he had to “die daily.” This is not a physical death, but rather one of a spiritual nature. John said in John 3:30, “He must increase, but i must decrease.” We can’t experience the wonderful joy of salvation if we are not willing to let go and let God. It’s hard. It’s not easy to give up, but God already knows the deepest and darkest areas of our hearts. If He already knows, then why should we confess it to Him? The age old saying “confession is good for the soul” plays an integral part in this truth. We confess not because God doesn’t know, but so that we are willing to lay aside that pride and be willing to admit it ourselves.
David said that his sin was “ever before him.” This meant that David needed to have a clean heart and a renewed spirit. The same is true for the modern day christian. 1John 1:9 has been called the biblical hobby horse, but it nonetheless a great truth. If we are willing to confess our sins to God and let Him come in and clean even the dirtiest areas of our lives, He will forgive us and will make us new again. That’s the kind of God we serve! He is gracious and merciful! There is a country song which says, “Daddy’s don’t just love their children every now and then. It’s a love without end, amen!” What a great truth! Though the process is painful, it’s worth every minute to have a true heart for God!
4: Finally, there is the restoration.
We have now recognized, remembered, and renewed vital areas of our heart and lives, now it is time to experience that great joy again! There are two things that took place when David had his joy restored. First, trangessors were taught their way, then sinners were converted unto God. If we lose that joy that salvation brings, then our entire christian lives will come to a complete stand still. We will not be teaching trangressors their ways nor will we be working to get sinners converted. Without that joy, we have motivation to work for the Lord. This is why it is a dread to even go to sunday morning worship.
But there is hope. That joy that you once had can be had again. You don’t have to go through this life as has been. You can have that joy in your heart again! David experienced it, and so can you! We all get discouraged from time to time. We all fall from time to time and we all lose our joy at some point in our christian lives, but it doesn’t have to stay that way. You can wake up with a smile on you face again. You can go about your day with right spirit and attitude again. You can enjoy life once again. A life without joy is a life lived in misery. Don’t live another day in misery! Just let go and let God. He promised that if we’ll do our part, He will not fail to do His part! Be like David and have your joy restored again! God Bless!