by Norma Koehne
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‘Restore to me the joy of your salvation’ (Psalm 51:10).
Right now, there are events in our world that are causing anxiety and even despair for many people. We are blessed to have had government leaders working together to mitigate some of these worries, but there are still many people who are struggling and have little joy in their lives.
The psalmist reminds us that amid tragedy and despair, we can still have joy – the joy of your salvation. What is this joy? First of all, it is God’s salvation (your salvation) that he has freely given to us through the vicarious death of his son. Most of us received this when we were helpless babies, when God through water and his word, made us his children and gave us all the precious gifts that this implies, freedom from sin, death and the devil, and freedom to live lives of loving service to our gracious Father.
Why does the psalmist say, ‘restore to me the joy of your salvation’? As we know, it is so easy to take the blessings of salvation for granted; we have had them all our lives. It is interesting to read about the joy of people in places like Papua New Guinea when they heard the good news of God’s love and salvation through faith in Christ. There was great joy, as they no longer had to fear the malevolent spirits of the dead, who filled their lives with uncertainty and misery.
In an affluent society, when all things are going well and we are at our ease, it is also easy to forget the joy of salvation. This was a problem in Israel as we read in the minor prophets ie Amos 6:1,4–7. However, things can change in an instant, as we have seen recently with the COVID-19 pandemic. Only one thing lasts for now and into eternity, and that is the faithfulness of God and the joy of his salvation, so freely given to us.
God, restore to me the joy of your salvation, so that I may rejoice, whether I am going through good times or bad, because you hold me secure in your loving care. Amen.