Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.
Sin and evil make us mournful. We may find pleasure in it for a time, but eventually our hearts will be grieved by it. It doesn’t belong in us when we’ve been redeemed by the blood of Christ. When His Spirit dwells within, our sin hurts us as much as it hurts Him. It builds a wall. It closes the curtain. It divides us from Him a little bit. It dims the light a little bit. And we feel the weight of it just enough that it presses us down.
But there is a cure that lifts us out of that sad place and restores to us the joy of God’s salvation. Wasn’t it such a sweet moment when we bowed before Him that first-ever time and received His heavenly pardon? Wasn’t it such a relief to have that weight of sin off of our back and the lightness of His presence instead? Wasn’t it exquisite joy to know that freedom? And we can have that same sensation. We can experience that same thing by laying those sins at Jesus’ feet again. By trusting in Him to take it away, we can once again have that joy of a clean heart.
It is a hallmark of our God to give us what we don’t deserve. He exchanges our sorrow for joy. He trades our emptiness for His fullness. He gives us peace and takes away our sin. And He does all this of His own accord. He forgives because He wants to. He allows us to be restored because He wants us to be made new. He gives us more than we could hope for because He delights to do so. And it is that knowledge that brings the kind of joy that can go soul-deep and make a difference at the core of who we are.
Sin takes and sin hurts. But we are not ever left to that state when we are seeking the Lord. When we’ve been so beat down and brought low, His hand is beneath us to prevent us from getting to rock bottom. When the sorrow wells up within us, He will release us from that. There is redemption for us. There is so much more than the pain and the wretchedness of sin. Because when we have Jesus, there is joy restored and newness of life and hope for a better day.