Restore to Me the JOY of Your Salvation

joy“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the JOY of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.” – Psalm 51:10-12

Differentiation is a key component of good mental health. “Psychological differentiation is an important aspect of self-development. As Dr. Robert Firestone writes in his book The Self Under Siege: A Therapeutic Model of Differentiation, ‘In order for people to live their own lives and fulfill their destinies, they must differentiate from destructive environmental influences.’” ( www.psychalive.org )

David understood this component thousands of years ago but see that he noticed it once his ability to differentiation had left him. Another key component but this time of our faith in Christ is JOY! It differentiates us from everyone else in the world. Remember the old youth song, “I got the JOY, JOY, JOY, JOY down in my heart—where? Down in my heart…”. King David goes on, he is not asking to be reminded of his JOY but is asking the only being capable of restoring him by restoring the JOY of his salvation. The JOY of knowing God, of placing Him first, of calling on Him and receiving and answer, of being able to rely on Him no matter what, of boldly declaring Him in every situation, of leading with Him, of allowing Him to search and know him, of being intimate with God. There is no greater JOY than to know that you are saved from your sins and trespasses.

Even more interesting to me is David knew his ability to have JOY in God was somehow gone or different. This takes a great amount of self-reflection and honestly, it is the Holy Spirit that searches us in these ways. There is a reason why God called David, “A man after God’s own heart.” (Acts 13:22) David had the God given ability to differentiate to know when things were not right. This takes wisdom and wisdom is the third component.

We are told in James that

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. – James 1:5

So then, what we have are actually key components of our faith. These components are what separate us from non-believers. We above everyone else should be able to differentiate, practice-have- and display JOY, and live with a level of wisdom that is unprecedented. Why? Because they are all provided by and through our Lord and savior Jesus Christ.

Joy in ChristIn a world where self is under siege we must yield to the greatest of all beings, God. It is only then that we will understand true victory and JOY. Again in Psalm 30:4-5, it was David that said, “Sing praises to the Lord, O you his saints, and give thanks to his holy name. For his anger is but for a moment, and his favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.”

It is my hope today that as we grow ever closer to the kingdom of God that God restores to us the JOY of our salvation. No longer can we walk around looking defeated, feeling defeated, listening to defeat, practicing defeatist habits, and acting as if God is the god of the dead. God is the God of the living and that is worth rejoicing over.

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies, but test everything; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil. Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-24

For some reason, we sit and wait today for things to happen for a movement to occur so we can feel purposeful by joining in and experiencing God. Granted, the entire concept and teaching by the Blackaby family is one I value and have taught often. But the direction given in scripture is different. The pace is different. The focus is different. We have already been given our marching orders, we need not wait for them. It is called the Great Commission. We have already been blessed (past tense) with all heavenly spiritual gifts (Eph. 1:3). We have already been equipped for our journey because we have the Bible. Let the lost find their way by joining in with us but let the saved move onto to perfection.

There is no hesitation, no condemnation, no aberration, no disillusionment, no confusion, no prohibition and no frustration. The fields are white and ready for harvest, people are longing for the JOY that only salvation can bring, and we are God’s workmanship and the sheep of His pasture.

What are we waiting for and why? Could it be we are listening to the advertisements of the world and not the voice of God? Could it be we see ourselves as more important than God? Could it be that we are wounded and overwhelmed with the troubles of this world? If the answer is yes to any of these questions, we need to pray the very scripture that David wrote in Psalm 51, “Restore to me the JOY of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.”

We must differentiate ourselves from the world as Christians psychologically, physically, and spiritually! Why? Because God already has!

Mijikai Mason
Disclaimer: The thoughts and views published on the Veterans to Christ blog are those of Mijikai Mason and in no way are meant to represent the United States Army or the Armed Forces.

Bio: Mijikai Mason is an Ordained Southern Baptist minister and Chaplain in the United States Army. He has been in the Army for 26 years both as an enlisted Soldier and now as an Officer. He has been stationed at various bases in the United States and in United States Army Garrison Schweinfurt, Germany. He holds an undergraduate degree in Religion from the University of Mobile, a Master of Divinity degree from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary in Theology and Evangelism and a Master of Arts degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Webster University. Chaplain (MAJ) Mijikai Mason was selected by the Army in 2013, to become a Family Life Chaplain and began his service in this field starting 15 May 2015. He is the Deputy ESC Chaplain and Family Life Chaplain for the 593 Expeditionary Support Command at Joint Base Lewis McCord. He has deployed four times: Desert Storm (1991), Iraq twice (2005-2006; 2007-2008), and Afghanistan (2012-2013). He has a total of 42 months deployed in combat and logistics operations. Mijikai and his wife, Ashley, have been married for 17 years this May and live near Joint Base Lewis McChord, Washington with their four daughters.