Take It Back, I
Ps.43:4 “There I will go to the altar of God, to God—the source of all my joy. I will praise you with my harp, O God, my God!”
In yesterday’s devotional, God began to talk to us about the importance of having joy in our lives as His children. Cranky Christians are bad witnesses. So, how do we get our joy back and how do we sustain our joy? Seven things! Are you ready? The first thing you need to know and do is simple, you have to admit that your joy is lost. Years ago, when my grandmother takes me to the market with her, sometimes I felt she was using it to punish me. So I am the boy carrying the bag, right? She is in front and I am following her. In my mind, I am keeping track of her but there are other interesting things happening in the market like people fighting and all sorts of things. For a child the market can be interesting. So, I believe I am following and suddenly I look up and she is gone. The question is at what point did I realize I lost her? Mostly ten or fifteen minutes after.
A lot of us are going on empty joy and we do not know that we have lost it. We think we are following Jesus, but we have actually lost track. We think we have Jesus in our view there somewhere. It was not until Jesus’ parents realized that Jesus was not with them that they went back to the temple in search for Him. But it was not at that point they lost Jesus. So how do you know if you have lost your joy? Ask yourself this question, has there been a time in your life where you have been more joyful in God? If the answer is yes, then you need to get your joy back. Did I hear you just say, but Pastor I still have some joy? Listen, God says, the path of the just is like the shining light that shines brighter and brighter and brighter. Am I saying that, looking back there has been no time I was more joyful in God? Absolutely. I am at my most joyful right now, glory be to God.
Psalm 51:12 “Restore to me the JOY of your salvation.” (NIV, emphasis added). Note that David did not say restore to me Your salvation because David did not lose his salvation. What David lost was the joy of the salvation. You can still be saved with your salvation intact, but you have lost the joy of your salvation. How you know is that when you look at the cross of Jesus, it does not excite you anymore. When you hear worship songs, your stomach does not rumble as it used to rumble for God. I pray that God will restore your joy and restore the joy of salvation.
The first step to getting your joy back is to admit that you lost it in the first place. The second thing you need to do to get your joy back is to analyze the cause. How did this happen and what is robbing you of your joy? What are the kill joys around you? Joy by nature does not just run away, joy stays. So, what has taken your joy? Lam. 3:40 “Let us examine our ways and test them, and let us return to the Lord.” (NIV, emphasis added). You need to examine, test, and analyze what went wrong. Can you identify the kill joys? If you can then you can eliminate them.
Prayer: My Father and My God, I come before You the Source of all my joy. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation and cause my joy to overflow, in Jesus Name. Amen!