“Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit” (Psa. 51:12)
The Bible has a lot to say about overcoming depression and unhappiness. The true source of happiness is having a relationship with God (Rom. 15:13). However, many of us are depressed because we are always falling short of our expectations. Others are depressed because they just seem to not be able to please anyone. Others are not sure why they are depressed, but they lack energy and passion in their lives.
One of the greatest lies Satan has ever told is that we will find joy through sin and disregarding the commandments of God. But, in truth, turning our backs on God, our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ will bring misery and sadness. Salvation and joy go together. Peter said when a man is saved he/she will “rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory” (I Pet. 1:8). Joy is automatic only when we are living each day by faith and seeking the Lord’s will.
However, even when we are living godly lives our faith can be tested and tried. Satan uses various methods in an effort to blind us to the truth and excellence of the Gospel (2 Cor. 4:3, 4). The purpose of trials is to strengthen our faith…..not to destroy it I Pet. 1:7). God allows them to come to not only show us what we are trusting in, but also to draw us to Him if our faith has waned.
If joy is missing in our lives it is because we are seeking it where it cannot be found. Joy does not happen accidentally in our lives. It comes for a number of reasons: (1) There is great joy in receiving Christ as one’s Savor, “These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full” (John 15:11); (2) There is joy at knowing your sins are forgiven. David said, “Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, who sin is covered” (Psa. 32:1); (3) There is joy in being in fellowship with the Lord. “God is faithful, through whom ye were called into the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord” (I Cor. 1). God is our Creator and Maker. He made us to be in fellowship with Him. In us is the desire to know Him. That is what we mean when we say that we have a personal relationship with Him. Salvation is personally coming into a relationship with our God and Savior. Deeper joy is not found in power, position, or possessions, but rather in relationships; (4) There is joy at knowing God loves us and will forgive our sins when, as Christians, we sin. “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (I John 1:8, 9); (5) There is joy knowing we have a purpose on the earth–winning others to the Lord. The wise man said, “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that is wise winneth souls” (Prov. 11:30). Without a purpose in life we are like a ship adrift on the sea, tossed by the currents and waves without direction.
Even though we may have lost our joy we can have joy again. This is what David was praying for in our text. Think of how joy will help you in all of your activities. It will shed an influence upon everything. It will cause you to rejoice when service time comes around. You will draw close to the throne of grace with boldness; enable you to read the Scriptures with pleasure, and to render your work as a Christian with great satisfaction. Perhaps we need to pray as David, “Restore unto me the joy of Thy salvation.”
Joy is the byproduct of obedience.
From “Daily Devotions by Guy Roberson”
By Guy Roberson
From Expository Files 23.1; January 2016