Psa. 51:8 Make me hear joy and gladness,
That the bones You have broken may rejoice.
This verse reminds me of a car ride to some revival services in St. Louis, Missouri in the fall of 1994. Parris and I were riding in the car to the evening meeting listening to Christian music. Suddenly it was as if my ears were opened. The sound in that music on the radio was empty of joy. I heard it for the first time, without joy in our religion we have nothing. Like David prayed in this Psalm, ‘Lord, make me hear joy and gladness’. What was really strange to me was this, the sound of joy had become so obvious to me. How could I have missed it? How had I lived so long without it? Why had I been willing to live so long without it? Apparently my life had been devoid of joy for a long time. Only the Lord could restore that joy. Only He could open my ears to that beautiful sound. William Cowper was one of the great song writers in the 1700’s. He struggled for years with depression. Here are some of his amazing comments about hearing the sound of joy in the midst of his battle with sadness.
“Make me to hear joy and gladness. This is the exceeding great love of the Lord toward his children, that he hath not only provided a sure salvation for them through the remission of their sins in Christ Jesus, but also seals up in their heart the testimony thereof by his Holy Spirit of adoption, that for their present consolation, lest they should be swallowed up of heaviness through continual temptations. Though he speak not to all his children as he did to Daniel, by an angel, “O man, greatly beloved of God, “nor as he did to the blessed Virgin Mary, “Hail, Mary, freely beloved, “yet doth he witness the same to the hearts of his children by an inward testimony: when they hear it they are alive; when they want it they are but dead; their souls refuse all other comforts whatsoever.”
Maybe you are dealing with sadness of heart today. Just as David discovered as well as William Cowper, there is a joy bigger than all our troubles. The source of this joy is found in the forgiveness of sins. The battle has been won, there is a joy that flows from Immanuel’s fountain. The fountain is filled with blood, it takes away all of our sin.