Losing and Finding the Joy of Salvation
by Cooper Abrams
Introduction: David was a "man after God's own heart" as 1 Samuel 13:14 states. He wrote the 51 Psalm after he had grossly sinned committing both adultery and murder. (II Samuel 11)
Yet, in spite of his sin God still loved David. David had not lost his salvation, but had lost all the joy of it because of his sin. This is one of the many passages of Scripture that affirm the doctrine of the assurance or security of the believer. When God saves a person he is eternally and everlastingly forgiven and saved from his sins. That means past, present and future sins.
1 Samuel 16:13, confirms that when David was anointed the King of Israel that he received the indwelling of the Holy Spirit from that day forward. “Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brethren: and the Spirit of the LORD came upon David from that day forward.” David was the only Old Testament saint that received the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. It was only until the Day of Pentecost that believers in our dispensation all received the permanent Baptism or indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
When David sinned he stopped living by faith and trusting in the Lord. God tells us in Romans 1:17, quoting Habakkuk 2:4 “For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.”
Clearly David was not living by faith when he returned to Jerusalem and to his palace instead of leading God’s people in their battles against their enemies. This was the first step in losing his the joy of his salvation and led to his giving into his lust. He was out of fellowship with the Lord.
Surely he knew what that God’s way was the best for his life, but in apathy he decided to live without seeking God’s help and direction. The battle was going good so why should he bother himself with it. It could go on without him.
Until Nathan confronted him it seems he was content to be living in sin and taking pleasure in it. This temporary pleasurable for a while, but it left him in a terrible state. The worse thing was that without God’s leadership in his life and seeking God’s will he would not let God bless him.
Let us look at the three things that can be seen in David's prayer for God to restore unto him the "joy of his salvation"
I. SALVATION IS ACCOMPANIED BY JOY.
A. Salvation and joy should go together. Peter said when a man is saved they "rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory".
B. Many believers have said, "I'm happier now when I'm sad that I used to be when I was happy".
C. Joy is automatic only when we are living each day by faith seeking the Lord’s will. Even when we are living godly lives our faith can be tested and tried. The purpose of the trial is to strengthen our faith.....not to destroy it. God allows them to come to not only show us what we are trusting in, but also to draw us to Him if our faith has waned.
ILLUS: A have a friend who was a very successful business man. He had acquired a great deal of wealth. He received a telephone call which informed him that the president of the bank where his money was deposited had embezzled all of it and he was broke...wiped out! Some men would have become bitter at God, some would have committed suicide as in the great stock market crash in the 30‘s, some would have lost all hope and had their lives destroyed. This man was a Christian, and his response was to turn to God. He saw that he was trusting in his money, but now saw that money could not help him. He learned from this experience that God is our only permanent and absolute hope and strength. It is only in serving Him that true peace and joy is found. It was a difficult time for him and his wife, but through this experience he turned to the Lord and today is a peace with God. He lives trusting in the Lord. He has the joy of his salvation because his trust is in God, not the temporal things of this world.
The devil and his influence in this world would have us to believe otherwise. Yet there is no joy in the world. There is only insecurity and an obsession to be satisfied that is never unfilled.
Folks if you are a child of God this should be clear as glass to you. All we have to do is look around us to see the futility of finding joy in material things.
Yet, many believers wane in their faith and begin to see that being is saved is a burden. If that is a feeling you have....be warned that you are drifting far from God and understand the reason you are not happy and have no joy is because you are seeking it where it cannot be found! Please understand that when a Christian begins to have this attitude he is not living by faith and is cutting himself off from the only true source of joy.
Let’s look at this further:
1. First. There is great joy in receiving Christ as one's Savior.
2. Second. There is joy at knowing your sins are forgiven. David said, "Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, who sin is covered.
“Blessed is the man unto whom the Lord imputeth
not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile" (Psa. 32:2)
Blessed means "happy." The is joy at having a burden lifted.
Third. There is joy in being in fellowship with the Lord. God is our Creator and Maker. He made us to be in fellowship with Him. In us is the desire to know Him. That is what we mean when we who believe say that we have a personal relationship with Him. Salvation is personally coming into a relationship with our God and Savior. It is not embracing some philosophical idea.
ILLUS: Most false religions who worship false gods know nothing of a loving and caring God with whom we have fellowship. Think about the false gods of the cults and pagan religions. God is to them a vengeful creature who they must appease, who is never satisfied. All the false gods are creatures who are selfish, without love or care. Only our true God and Creator is said to be the God of love.
Many is empty inside when he has not relationship with his Maker.
Fourth. There is joy knowing we have a purpose on the earth. Joy at know God loves us. Joy at having work to do, and winning others. Joy and satisfaction and peace at being right with the Lord. . It is most miserable not to have a purpose for one’s life. We hear people often saying they are “seeking themselves” or “seeking to find themselves.” It means they do not know what their purpose it for life. They are like a ship a drift on the sea, tossed by the currents and waves without direction.
This is a joy of obedience and knowing what you are doing is eternal.
II. THIS JOY MAY BE LOST.
A. Would you let me be honest. I feel many many
Christians have lost the joy of knowing Christ.
B. They have not lost their salvation and relationship with the Lord, but the joy of it being a child of God.
C. What causes this joy to be lost? The answer is simple. There is only one thing that comes between us and our Savior and that is sin. When sin enters joy leaves.
D. God is a loving Father and chastens us when we sin. It is no fun to be chastened. There is no peace at knowing you are wrong and guilty.
1. Many times we try to avoid the bad feelings we have about our sin, trying to deny it.
2. We seek to justify our wrong doing. Well I'm not so bad we tell ourselves! I know others who are worse! Think with me if you are thinking that way. Notice what it is that you making your standard? Answer: Somebody who is in worse sin than we are. That way we don't feel so bad.
3. But it is a lie. The true child of God will never be happy in sin. We can hide it, deny it, try and justify it ...but we are doomed to fail in our attempt to cover up sin and not repent.
There is no joy, no peace...For the Child of God, God takes the fun out of sinning.
E. I am glad it is that way? That may be hard for some to accept, but think with me about it. When we stop trusting in the Lord joy leaves we become miserable and dissatisfied. Can you not see that God in His love for us is seeking the very best for us and will not allow us to be happy by trusting the destructive influences of the world. The wages of sin is death.....all sin...small or great is destructive. God wants us to live a pure and holy life separated from the
IV. LOST JOY MAY BE REGAINED.
A. God grace not only saves us from the penalty
of sin, it also saved us from harmful effects of sin if we will live godly lives.
B. David prayed and ask God for his joy to be restored.
C. Joy can be restored in three steps.
1. Admission of sin. David admitted his sin. (Psa. 51:3)
He says his sin is ever before him. You see he feels the guilt of sin and also the consequences that it brought. David’s family went to pieces after he stopped trusting in the Lord. Israel lost confident in him as King. His sons also grossly sinned and Absalom led a rebellion against his father and David for a time had to flee for his life. Another of his sons raped his on sister and then was murdered by her brother.
1 John 1:9 says what? Confess your sin.
2. Second: It must be a full confession. He says Against thee, thee only have I sinned. . ."Its not a prayer that says, “Well, Lord, I really didn't do too bad, or this was not that bad, but Lord I know you don't like it, even though I don't think it is too bad, please forgive.”
No, it is a prayer of total confession. “Lord, I was wrong, I sinned against you....please oh God forgive me and help me never to do this again.”
3. There must be a petition. David prayed for pardon and cleaning. There must be true repentance which means a positive action of turning from sin.
A half-hearted prayer is not repentance. It is not sorry at being caught, it is being ashamed, and making a conscience decision not to do it any more.
ILLUS: Once in a church I pastored I heard one of teens use a curse word. He did not know I was there and aware that I heard him. I ask him what he said, I'm sorry he said, several times. I replied, I would rather you be ashamed, ask God’s forgiveness and never do it again.
SOMETIMES FELLOWSHIP IS RESTORED, BUT THE RESULT OF SIN CAUSES GREAT DISTRESS.
It is so much better to right now to turn to the Lord and seek the joy of one’s salvation than to ignore God’s warnings. Over the years I have known so many who let their faith wane and they got into sin. The result was broken marriages, children's lives destroyed, families broken up, friendships destroyed and lives ruined.
There are so many things that can rob us of our joy.
- bitterness over being hurt by someone, not getting recognition for what we do.
- having to do other’s jobs or others not sharing the work.
- not forgiving people who hurt, abuse, or take advantage of us.
The central cause is always the same and it is not obeying the Lord and letting sin direct us. It is gross sin not be forgiving, to harbor ill feelings, and to let bitterness control us. Ephesian 5:18 tells us the believer is to be filled with the Holy Spirit and thereby letting Him direct all we do.
Sin in any form is always destructive. We need also to be aware that God may forgive, but you still have to reap what you sow.
The use of alcohol, drugs and living for the worldly pleasures have far reaching effects.
Bitterness and an unforgiving spirit that is not dealt with can rob you of joy and you may never get it back as before.
Sin can rob you of a witness and usefulness to the Lord.
You can lose your testimony. For some it can be permanent. Folks can lose confidence in you.
It is a serious thing not to have the joy of our salvation. If you have lost your joy or maybe in danger of losing it. Would you right now turn to God in faith, repent of your sins and ask God as David did to restore to you the joy of your salvation.
The answer is found in 1 John 1 "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us." (1 John 1:8-10)
God certainly forgives, but only when we let Him. That is the question today...will you let Him forgive and cleanse your sins.
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