Read Psalm 51:10-13. 10Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. 11Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me. 12Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit. 13Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will return to you.
David refuses to let his renewed awareness of his own depravity bring him to despair, but it does bring him to desperation. He isn’t asking God for anything less than a complete re-creation, a miracle if you will. He not only wants to be holy, he wants to want to be holy – uphold me with a willing spirit.
David saw the presence of God, the Holy Spirit, depart from Saul at his rebellion. But David is living under the unconditional promise of God (2 Sam. 7) – God’s beloved son sitting on a throne forever. A promise that drives him confidently toward God’s own throne of grace.
In Christ and under the New Covenant we have this same promise, even in our failures. The clean heart. The renewed spirit. The eternal presence of God. The Holy Spirit within. All these blessings are ours in Christ and will never be taken away from us, not matter how great our sin may be.
But beyond this is the blessing that few Christians seek, the joy of our salvation. Duty has replaced delight. Guilt has replaced glory. Sin management has replaced the joy of salvation. Do you regularly pray for a restored joy in Christ? Christian, joy in Christ’s salvation is the only power for putting sin to death that actually works, and it is the only motivation for ministry that actually sustains.
To live is Christ is to rejoice in the Lord always, even in times of great failure, for we know that Christ never stops rejoicing in us, and in God’s grace in us.
Prayer. Jesus, give me godly sorrow over my sin, but then restore the joy of my salvation so I may serve you from delight not just duty. Amen.
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