One phrase from this scripture got my attention the other day. It was sung in a song and the words say this, “Restore the joy of my Salvation.”
For many of us this is something we struggle with after experiencing any number of difficult situations while dealing with the church. I, for one, had lost that joy completely. I avoided anything which had a spiritual component. I was angered the few times I attended church, and even went on the attack against churches insincerity and lack of serious efforts to confront issues I consider essential to spiritual growth and success.
The problem was I wasn’t separating the Church and its human inadequacies from God and His sovereign rule and grace. We are filled with contradictions and just about every church claims it has the corner on truth. Pride, a human weakness, finds its way into our faith and actions. Thats not of God and He relentlessly asks us to repent and find wholeness in Him alone. Thats hard. I think we can all agree to that.
Re-read Psalm 51 below and put yourself in the place of David. We all could use the reminder of this prayer for mercy, restoration and desire to be used of God to reach others.
A Prayer of Repentance
To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David when Nathan the prophet went to him, after he had gone in to Bathsheba.
1 Have mercy upon me, O God,
According to Your lovingkindness;
According to the multitude of Your tender mercies,
Blot out my transgressions.
2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
And cleanse me from my sin.
3 For I acknowledge my transgressions,
And my sin is always before me.
4 Against You, You only, have I sinned,
And done this evil in Your sight—
That You may be found just [a]when You speak,
And blameless when You judge.
5 Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,
And in sin my mother conceived me.
6 Behold, You desire truth in the inward parts,
And in the hidden part You will make me to know wisdom.
7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
8 Make me hear joy and gladness,
That the bones You have broken may rejoice.
9 Hide Your face from my sins,
And blot out all my iniquities.
10 Create in me a clean heart, O God,
And renew a steadfast spirit within me.
11 Do not cast me away from Your presence,
And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of Your salvation,
And uphold me by Your generous Spirit.
13 Then I will teach transgressors Your ways,
And sinners shall be converted to You.
14 Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, O God,
The God of my salvation,
And my tongue shall sing aloud of Your righteousness.
15 O Lord, open my lips,
And my mouth shall show forth Your praise.
16 For You do not desire sacrifice, or else I would give it;
You do not delight in burnt offering.
17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit,
A broken and a contrite heart—
These, O God, You will not despise.
18 Do good in Your good pleasure to Zion;
Build the walls of Jerusalem.
19 Then You shall be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousness,
With burnt offering and whole burnt offering;
Then they shall offer bulls on Your altar.