Restore the Joy.

Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. (Psalm 51:12)

Have you ever been around someone who is reading through the Bible for the first time? I remember when a wonderful gal, Chrissy, became a Christian two years ago.  It was amazing to watch her journey firsthand. I was with her in a Bible study in the months following as we started reading through the book of 1st Timothy.

The night before we were to begin the new Bible Study she sent an e-mail to the entire group that was laden with exclamation points. In order to prepare for 1st Timothy she had been reading through the life of Paul in Acts for the first time. She was reading each chapter and hanging on every word, not knowing what was going to happen next.

Her e-mail read: “Guys! Paul is a sinner just like me!! 1 Timothy 1:16 says, ‘But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display His unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on Him and receive eternal life.’ Don’t you realize what this means? He didn’t deserve it either!”

The e-mail was an indication of the joy Chrissy was experiencing in her own salvation.

As we sat discussing 1st Timothy the next night she smiled through tears exclaiming, “I didn’t deserve this! None of us deserve this, Paul didn’t deserve this, but He died for us!”  Tears ran down my own face as I watched her joy radiate throughout the room. We were all moved beyond words. In that moment, Chrissy showed me that my response to my own salvation had dulled over time. The wonder of it all had faded and I was simply giving thanks out of habit.

My prayer since has become the words of David in Psalm 51:2, that God would restore to me the joy of salvation! No matter how long you’ve called yourself a Christian, the joy should fill us each day! We who were once dead are now alive! Can I get an “Amen”?!

Following and living,