Restore to me the joy of Your salvation… —Psalm 51:12
Joy is one of the marks of the Christian life. But joy should not be confused with happiness. Happiness is an emotion that is dependent upon the outward circumstances of my life, which means I can be very happy one moment, and very sad the next.
On the other hand, joy is an emotion evoked from internal circumstances— my relationship with God— and thus joy is a more constant experience. Because of my relationship with God, I can experience joy even in the midst of difficult or tragic circumstances.
When David sinned— and it was sin of the worst kind: adultery leading to murder— he lost the joy of his salvation, for sin breaks fellowship with God. David could no longer feel God's presence.
Sin brings misery.
Though a person can be saved, their sin will rob them of their joy. The Holy Spirit will convict you, and this will bring heaviness until you get to the point of confession and repentance. When that happens— when we forsake our sin and return to God— He restores the joy of our salvation and brings us back into fellowship with Him.
Maybe today you are suffering guilt. Maybe like David, sin has stolen the joy of your salvation. The answer is simple: call out to God, who is merciful and ready to cleanse you from your sin and restore the joy of your salvation.
Father, we are so grateful for Your faithfulness and willingness to forgive all who call upon Your name. How good it is to walk with You, to have that consciousness of Your nearness. We rejoice this day in the joy of our salvation. Amen.