It is one of the fruits of the Spirit and something I talk about a lot here on the blog. For me, it is one of the most beautiful ‘evidences’ per se of what God has done in my life.
Did you know, though, that while joy is an evidence of God’s working, it is still an attitude that we choose, and therefore can pursue? Look at the life of David- King of Israel, psalmist, giant-slayer, womanizer, and don’t forget, womanizer and murderer.
Take a moment to look at Psalm 51. I feel like it is great model for a healthy approach to sin. David covers it all, from admission of guilt to repentance to crying out for mercy and help. He runs the whole gamut. Many of us get stuck at the end of verse 5. We admit our guilt and recognize that we are really bad at walking in His ways, and we stop there. We go throughout our days beating ourselves up for what we have done. Just constantly flogging ourselves.
The weather is beautiful? Too bad, you cannot enjoy it because you are a terrible sinner.
Oh, you got an A on your exam? Well, who cares.
Jesus loves you? Yeah, right. You keep telling yourself that.
It is endless.
But, the prayer of David in Psalm 51 does not end there. He recognizes his fault and then he asks God to restore him. He asks him specifically to restore the joy of his salvation. That is an interesting perspective. Here is David- he has just committed adultery and murder, and he is asking God to restore the joy of his salvation. He is crying out for joy.
- Read through Psalm 51. What are some thoughts you can identify with? Have you ‘made it past’ verse 5?
- Get back into joy. Pick up a new hobby, hang out with friends, go for a trip. Do something you enjoy, simply because you are free to enjoy it.