By Glenn Miller
GOD’S WORD: “Restore me to the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit to sustain me.” – Psalm 51:12
When God created us with the freedom to make our own choices, one of those choices that we make each day is whether or not we are joyful; filled with the joy of knowing that “nothing can separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus;” that we are saved and are warm and wonderful children of God made in His image. You would think that it would be a no-brainer for us to choose joy each day, but more often than not (if you’re sometimes like me), we make the choice NOT to live in joy. Or even worse, we delegate the responsibility of us being joy-filled to others.
Instead of basking in joy, despite our circumstances, we choose to listen to the enemy (the deceiver, the liar) as he whispers in our ears that we are not good enough; that God can’t possibly forgive us and love us after what we did or didn’t do; that we must pay a dear price to atone for our sins. And when we listen to such lies and deception, we choose to live that day in despair and gloom. In short, we have let the devil rob us of our joy. And that’s his goal.
King David, the author of this psalm, who is often referred to as “a man after God’s own heart” struggled with this same choice. Apparently, just like you and me, he had days in which he listened to the devil rather than rely on the promises of God. Perhaps it was a sleepless night like many of us have had that David wrote these words. They are words that you and I can ask of God, too.
The choice of living joy-filled today is ours and no one else’s. We can choose to live this day knowing that “this is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it” or we can choose to live this day in despair. Shut out the sounds of the whispering enemy and let God’s promises restore your joy:
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
“For I am convinced that nothing…can separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
“All things work for the good for those who love the Lord and are called according to His purpose.”
“See what love the Father has given us that we may be called the children of God.”
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.”
These are the promises of God for the people of God. Listen and hear…and believe!