"Restore to me the joy of my salvation and grant me a willing spirit to sustain me." - Psalm 51:12
This verse tells us two things about joy:
1) it can be lost.
but 2) God can restore it.
How's your joy level, this Advent week? I'll confess, there have been moments when mine's been just fine, but I only wish I could say it's been high all week. I wish I could say that I've remembered (even as I've been blogging every day about it) that I'm supposed to be in a season of expectant hope, inexplicable peace, and vibrant joy - but I'll confess - there have moments in every day of this season when I've just lost sight of that.
Hope, peace, joy - it can be so easy for those three things to be crowded out by the immediate demands of the day. Coworkers that drive us nuts. Sugared-up kids who have forgotten the meaning of the words "obedience" and "respect." Another day of the seemingly never-ending job-hunt that ends in unemployment (still). Not enough money. Not enough time. Stress. Errands. Too many obligations....
Whatever it is that is stealing your joy - did you know you can tell it to stop?
All you need to do is pray the words of this psalm. Ask the King of heaven and earth to restore to you the joy of your salvation. To restore to you a little bit of perspective. Yes, life was crazy today. No, it didn't all get done. But He loves you. He saved you. Your sin is forgiven. You have been made new.
Breathe for a minute. Think about that.
You need a willing spirit to sustain you. A non-willing spirit will think about all the stuff that steals your joy, that stands in your way. But a spirit willing to focus on the Lord, to remember the joy of salvation - that spirit will sustain you. No matter what.
p.s. I really loved the picture in Zechariah 8:4-8. If you didn't get a chance to read it yet today, go do that now. I love God's question: He's made a promise to His children, and He says, "it may seem marvelous to [you] - but will it seem marvelous to me?"
He knows what He's doing. He has a plan. And it's all going to work out well.
Faith says, "I believe it." And hope waits for it.