“Restore to me the joy of Your salvation and sustain me with a willing spirit.” [NASB]
When we think of the word restoration, we think of an old house being renovated to look as good as it did when it was first built. Restoration does the same thing for people, too. It’s a sweeping of cobwebs (old sins and baggage) out of the corners of our lives and hearts and making way for the glory of the Lord to inhabit us and make us new.
Before getting to the point of being restored, we must recognize we do wrong things. We sin against ourselves, other people, and God. When we repent and return to God, we renew a right relationship with Him.
Still, sometimes we feel weighed down by grief, by regret, by sadness, and by embarrassment. These feelings can teach us and strengthen us against temptation. They can humble us to realize we are no better than any other person. But, when we continue to live through these feelings, we should wonder have we accepted God's forgiveness, or have we allowed Satan to continue to torment us because of that sin?
Jesus' sacrifice was perfect and continues to be perfect for cleansing from sin, unlike the animal sacrifices of the Old Testament. His one-time sacrifice cleansed us from all our sins for all time. Jesus’ sacrifice cleansed us not just from the stain of sin, but the weight of sins, too. The blood of animals cannot remove the weight of sin; why else did Old Testament people continually offer animal sacrifices morning and night? Consider what the writer of Hebrews said in Hebrews 9:13-14.
For if the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling those who have been defiled sanctify for the cleansing of the flesh, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? [NASB]
Once we accept Jesus' redeeming sacrifice for our sins, the sacrifice that saves us from the judgment that would condemn us because of our sins, we are not just clean from the stain of sin; God cleanses our conscience, too. That means the guilt of those sins does not weigh us down. Then, like David, we can have restored joy because of God’s salvation (Psalm 51:12).
We are like the old house being made like new. Its restoration brings joy and excitement to the people who own the house and brings wonder to the people who watch the process. Our being made clean and new, our restoration, by God will fill us with joy, wonder, and excitement because of the salvation we have received. We need only accept within our heart, mind, and spirit God’s forgiveness of our sins to experience complete joy. We can have this assurance of God’s favor that will bring us joy by letting go of the guilt and accepting that God has forgiven us.
Don't let Satan continue to taunt you with your faults and sins.
Acknowledge God's forgiveness.
Experience again the joy of His salvation.
Lord, I sin. I will be completely upfront about it. Sometimes I still feel guilty and I live my life in a dark haze. I just don’t seem to be able to shake the shame and guilt I feel because of my sins. Lord, help me repent of my sins and receive Your forgiveness. Restore in me the joy of Your salvation. Help me live as Your redeemed child so that others will notice what You have done in me and will ask why I am so joyful. Use me for Your glory and Your purpose, Lord. You are great and merciful. You alone are worthy of all praise and honor. Thank you for Your forgiveness, mercy, and grace. Amen.