Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.
Most of us, when we think of restoration, think of things we have lost being restored. Things like jobs, houses, relationships and so on, but what is David talking about? When we fall into a lethargic spiritual state, what do we really lose? David mentions things like joy, salvation, and God’s presence. Is it possible in those so called “dry seasons” we have lost more than we have realized? Matthew Henry spoke about the things we really lose when our hearts draw cold towards the Lord, observe his powerful comments.
“It had made him sad, and therefore he prays, Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation. A child of God knows no true nor solid joy but the joy of God’s salvation, joy in God his Saviour and in the hope of eternal life. By wilful sin we forfeit this joy and deprive ourselves of it; our evidences cannot but be clouded and our hopes shaken. When we give ourselves so much cause to doubt of our interest in the salvation, how can we expect the joy of it? But, when we truly repent, we may pray and hope that God will restore to us those joys. Those that sow in penitential tears shall reap in the joys of God’s salvation when the times of refreshing shall come.”
David began to realize his incredible loss when he could not enjoy the intimacy with God he enjoyed so much. Sometimes we don’t realize we have lost access to God until He gets our attention when we begin to experience loss in the natural world. What have you lost recently, I mean what have you really lost? You might see it first in the loss of possessions, jobs, or relationships. When things go that far, we are in a dangerous spiritual place. If you find yourself in that position, begin to pray David’s prayer, “Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation…”.
Joy is one of the signs of God’s presence, have you lost your joy? If so, this devotion is for you today. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. In His presence is fullness of joy. Pray David’s prayer and like David you will find yourself again overcome with the joy of your salvation.