by Pastor Mark Jordan
“Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and sustain in me a willing spirit.“ (Psalm 51:12, NRSV)
Psalm 51 is powerful. It was written by King David after perhaps his greatest transgression — adultery, followed up by sending the woman’s husband in the battle so he could be killed. He got caught up in his flesh and allowed his carnal desires to squelch his desire to follow God’s will. Psalm 51 was written as a visceral plea to God for mercy, forgiveness, and restoration. Read it. Feel it. It’s raw.
Have you ever been at a point in your life where the world seemed so dark? Have you ever found yourself laid bare before the Lord praying for mercy and forgiveness? Has life gotten so hard that you cry out for God to restore the joy of your salvation so your spirit can be willing and loyal to God again? God desperately wants to give this to you. God wants to forgive you, reveal his mercy, and share the power of salvation’s joy, even when you’ve wandered away from him. That joy gets amplified when you realize that God can…and will…forgive you, even when you’re at your worst. That’s good news, indeed!
When you read on from today’s verse, you see that King David made a commitment to God. He said that he wants to share God’s mercy and forgiveness with others, so they, too, may experience the restored joy of salvation. This is a profound model of pardon for you and me to follow. We’ve all been down. Pray to God for forgiveness —he longs to give it to you — and take in his mercy. Then experience God’s restoration as he sends you out to others to share your newfound joy, yes even in spite of yourself. This will change your life. It can change another’s, too.
Prayer: Dear Lord, I want to receive and remember the joy of my salvation. You’ve forgiven me for much, and restored me to share this with others. Help me use my story to point people to you, so they, too, may know the joy of salvation, and willingly follow you. I ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.