I have always loved Psalm 51, but especially verse 12. God said of David, the writer of this Psalm, “he is a man after my own heart” (Acts 13:22) but here I see that he had the same problems with his heart that I have with mine.
“Restore to me” - David lost something important, essential even, and he can’t get it back. Only God can “restore” this lost thing and so he turns to God with expectation.
“the joy of your salvation” - What was that thing he lost? It was the joy that comes through knowing that God gave himself for me, that he has saved me and set me free. David doesn’t here pray “save me, oh God”. He says, “I know you’ve saved me but I do not feel the joy anymore.” What an authentic prayer.
When Jesus died on the cross and paid for your salvation with his own life, your joy was also part of the deal. He died to set you free from the law of sin and death! (Romans 8:2) When God shines that truth in our hearts, the shadow of sadness fades before the brightness of that joy!
Things in this life can rob of us of that joy. Familiarity with that truth can dull our hearts to it. But, thank God, he is ready to restore it to us! We must only ask him to do so and wait for him to move.
- Chris Green