A while ago, as I was praying, I asked God to ‘restore to me again the joy of His salvation’ and then my prayer came to an abrupt halt as I realised that I didn’t think I had ever experienced the ‘joy’ of His salvation so how could I ask Him to restore something which I had never had or felt?
When I received Christ as my Lord and Saviour there was a quietness and peacefulness inside me which lasted for about an hour. I don’t recall feeling any joy.
My relationship with Jesus has always been overshadowed with my own needs, feelings and wants.
My relationship with Christ has been totally overshadowed by my immense feelings of unworthiness.
I know without a shadow of doubt that I have received salvation but realised that I had never fully opened up my heart to Christ to receive His joy. Psalm 16:11 says “You have made known to me the path of life; You will fill me with joy in your Presence”.
“You will find all true theology summed up in these two short sentences: Salvation is all of the grace of God. Damnation is all of the will of man”. Charles Spurgeon
If we do not fully submit our will to Christ we will never fully experience the ‘joy’ of our salvation.
Godly joy has got nothing to do with being happy. Godly joy is one of the fruits of the Spirit and does not rely on our circumstances. Being happy depends largely on what is happening to us whereas a Godly joy can be experienced even during times of great affliction.
Augustus William Hare summed it up perfectly when he stated:
“I bid you conquer in your warfare against your four great enemies, the world, the devil, the flesh, and above all, that obstinate and perverse self-will, unaided by which the other three would be comparatively powerless”.
If we can conquer our self-will, the influences of the world around us, and Satan – our own desires will have relatively little control over us.
“There’s only one effectively redemptive sacrifice, the sacrifice of self-will to make room for the knowledge of God” Aldous Huxley
We need to develop and practice discipline and self-control in our lives. We need to get to know God more intimately through the reading of His word and through prayer on a daily/hourly basis.
Lord, our prayer is that you would help us to submit our will to your will.
That you would place in us the desire to know you more deeply, more fully, and more realistically.
Grant us the assurance that we can do this in your name.
Reading Psalm 51