Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit. Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will return to you.
Look at the surprising connection that David makes between his joy and his effectiveness at teaching and witnessing. Apparently there is a direct correlation between deeply feeling the joy of knowing God’s great salvation, and being a good evangelist. So what is the connection between your joy and another’s salvation? It’s twofold:
If you view your salvation joylessly, your attitude and outlook does nothing to commend God to another person. You might be able to teach someone God’s ways, or lay out the “Romans road” for them, or share your faith, but if there is no underlying enthusiasm and wonder on your part, there will be a disconnect between what your words are saying and what your attitude is saying. The Gospel is the most wondrous, glorious, thrilling, astounding news in the entire universe; are you living in that joy and communicating it to others?
But on the other hand, joy is one of those particular emotions that puts God on display unlike any other. When we clearly exhibit the joy of our salvation, that sends a strong message that says, “This salvation is valuable and wonderful and precious to me!” That’s why David prays for joy, and why God commands our joy so often: our joy in Him and in His salvation puts Him on display as supremely valuable.
So ask yourself this question: am I consistently experiencing, living in, and demonstrating the joy of my salvation? If not, repent and start praying, like David, that God would restore to you the joy of His salvation, so that you would be a better ambassador for Christ.
Dear God, Forgive me for my joylessness that robs You of the glory that is due You because of Your great salvation. Open my eyes to see the staggering wonder of Christ crucified and risen and reigning for me. Give me faith to cling tightly to justification as my only hope. Make me so aware of my need and so aware of Your mercy, that I cannot help but overflow in unconquerable joy.
“The unpopularity of a crucified Christ has prompted many to present a message which is more palatable to the unbeliever, but the removal of the offense of the cross always renders it ineffective.” ~Geoffrey Wilson