Restore the Joy
One of my favorite passages in the bible is Psalms 51. It’s David’s psalm of repentance from the sin of adultery and murder. (Yes one the greatest influencers the world has ever known was an adulterous murderer....alright back on track) So David is crying out to God in repentance and he makes this statement:
“RESTORE TO ME THE JOY OF YOUR SALVATION
and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.”
Psalm 51:10-12 (NIV)
It’s interesting how David connects joy to willingness. It’s pretty simple actually. We are more prone to do what we “find joy in.” Did David lose the joy of his salvation before he fell into sin or after it? It seems logical to concur that David lost his joy, therefore he sinned. Scripture makes it clear that the joy of the Lord is our strength (Neh 8:10). We are more prone to failure and deception when we lose our joy. David wanted joy back and I, for one, am glad he got it!
We all long to be full of joy and live an exhilarated life because we are meant for it, and God finds great joy in our joy! Our success as followers of Christ is linked to our joy.
God finds great joy in our joy!
6 Thoughts on Restoring and Sustaining Joy!
1. Joy is not rooted in happenings.
Happiness and joy are not synonymous. However, I do think that most people use the terms interchangeably. It could be a matter of semantics. In my view and in this context “I would say that happiness is based on happenings.” Joy is rooted in something that happened, the cross. Happiness can be easily moved by something, but true joy is found in somebody: Jesus. I would suggest that happiness for the believer is discovered in their joy. Joy is fruit of the spirit. We don’t chase fruit, we produce it.
In other words, my joy is not dictated by circumstances, situations, relationships, etc. It is rooted in Jesus. I know it preaches easy, but we must come to grips with the fact that there is great joy in Jesus despite trials, hardships, and the happenings of life.
There is great joy in Jesus despite trials,
hardships, and the happenings of life.
2. Remember where you came from.
A couple of years ago, I ran into my childhood best friend whom I had not seen in well over a decade. We grew up together on the same street, shared the same interests, went to school together, partied together... we were basically “besties” before that was a word. But when I was 18 I gave my life to Jesus, and my friend continued his life. When I saw him again after so many years, it rocked me. My heart was broken for him. He had spent a large portion of his life in jail. He looked old, worn, tired, and broken. He laughed about it and said, “Man, look at you. You look so young, and I look old.”
The difference is Jesus. I can’t get over that moment. I am so grateful that Jesus saved me from a life of sin and many of the effects of sin. It keeps my joy intact, the joy of my salvation!
3. Remember what you came for.
“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith,
who for the joy set before him endured the cross...” Hebrews 12:2(NIV)
We are the joy of Jesus that this passage speaks of. We are his mission, and because we were the prize of the cross, it sustained Him through the most critical and grueling struggle of human history.
Eyes on the prize, keep your purpose in front of you, and don’t allow happenstance to distract you from what you were built for! You were built for Jesus!
4. Practice gratitude.
It is a healthy practice to find something to celebrate everyday. Rejoicing does just what it says: it RE-JOY(ce). Celebrate and then celebrate again.
“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” Philippians 4:4 (NIV)
It is possible that some days the only thing to celebrate is your salvation. Everyday I thank God for saving me. I thank him for the cross. I thank him for getting a hold of my hard heart. When I posture my heart in that manner, something always wells up inside of me. I hope I never get over the magnitude of what He did for me when I responded to Him almost 25 years ago.
5. Share your story.
What is your story? The story of when Jesus rescued you. What did he rescue you from? When was the last time you shared that with somebody? Your history with Jesus is one the most powerful things you have. Nobody can debate your experience. It’s your story, and one of the greatest ways you can restore or grow in your joy is by sharing what Jesus has done in your life. It is a key to victory in your life and to the lives of those you are sharing it with.
6. Ask to be filled with joy in the Holy Spirit.
We know it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom. (Lk. 12:32) And The kingdom of God is righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit. (Rom. 14:17)
It’s the fathers Joy to give you the Kingdom and he wants to fill you with Joy in the Holy Ghost! Understand that it is His heart for you, then ask for it! Ask him to fill you with the Holy Spirit and unspeakable & irrational Joy. I think he will fill you today if you will just ask and seek him! He gives good gifts to his kids! (Matt. 7:11)
“Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy..."
1 Peter 1:8 (NIV)