Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit to sustain me. (Psalm 51:12)
These words came from the inspired pen of King David in what is often called “The Psalm of Repentance.” David had committed several truly wicked sins, including adultery with Bathsheba and sanctioning the murder of her husband. A number of months had passed since those events when the prophet Nathan was sent by God to confront David in his sin.
Oh, the blessings on a Nathan-like confrontation! God used Nathan to drive David to his knees and deliver perhaps the most magnificent prayer of penitence ever penned. David was finally and fully crushed under the weight of his sin, bringing a kind of cosmic sorrow into his life. Now he was living in the wake of his wickedness.
Make no mistake, sin may seem pleasurable for a season, but in the end it will always accomplish three things: it will blind us . . . bind us . . . and grind us into the ashes of utter defeat.
Nathan helped David see that the only way out was UP! First, David understood that, inasmuch as he had sinned against Bathsheba, her husband, and all of Israel, ultimately, his sin was against God. All sin is against God; sin is rebellion against the rule and reign of God. Just like Adam and Eve, whose sinful pride caused them to rebel against God’s command in the Garden of Eden, David’s sin was also rebellion against God, and it injured countless individuals who belonged to God. Once that truth seized David, he was ready for reconciliation and restoration.
David trusted that God could turn his cosmic sadness into God-centered gladness. This is true for every child of God. We all sin. We all rebel against our God. But we need not be buried under the weight of sin’s wickedness. The “joy of salvation” is not a one-time event in the life of the believer; it can and should be a daily, on-going experience. And we can trust our God to restore us to this joy when we humble ourselves before Him with a broken and contrite heart.
Is there anything you need to take to God today that is weighing you down? Going from sadness to gladness is not as difficult as you might think. Cry out like David, trusting that God will do for you what He has promised to do: to restore you to the joy of your salvation over and over and over again. We have his Word on it!
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!