Our verse for this month on the topic of Joy comes from psalms. Many of which were written by King David. This one in particular God has pointed out his sin with Bathsheba, and he is repenting before God. I love how he expresses himself as he pours out his heart. These verses make a wonderful prayer.
The first verse he highlights God's attributes:
1Be gracious to me, God, according to Your faithfulness;
According to the greatness of Your compassion, wipe out my wrongdoings.
And begins to seek His forgiveness:
2Wash me thoroughly from my guilt
And cleanse me from my sin.
3For I know my wrongdoings,
And my sin is constantly before me.
4Against You, You only, I have sinned
And done what is evil in Your sight,
So that You are justified when You speak
And blameless when You judge.
5¶Behold, I was brought forth in guilt,
And in sin my mother conceived me.
6Behold, You desire truth in the innermost being,
And in secret You will make wisdom known to me.
7 Purify me with hyssop, and I will be clean;
Cleanse me, and I will be whiter than snow.
Let's focus on these next verses. He longs to feel joy again, after the sorrow of his sin.
8 Let me hear joy and gladness,
Let the bones You have broken rejoice.
9Hide Your face from my sins
And wipe out all my guilty deeds.
10¶Create in me a clean heart, God,
And renew a steadfast spirit within me.
11Do not cast me away from Your presence,
And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.
12Restore to me the joy of Your salvation,
And sustain me with a willing spirit.
Forgive me, return Your presence to me (remember God can not be in the presence of sin, so repentance and forgiveness is a continual process) and help me to remain faithful in the future(learn from my mistakes). Restore the joy of Your saving grace and forgiveness to my soul! What an incredible thing it is to be forgiven and able to stand in the presence of God washed clean!
13 Then I will teach wrongdoers Your ways,
And sinners will be converted to You.
Our testimony of salvation is powerful!
14¶Save me from the guilt of bloodshed, God, the God of my salvation;
Then my tongue will joyfully sing of Your righteousness.
15Lord, open my lips,
So that my mouth may declare Your praise.
16For You do not delight in sacrifice, otherwise I would give it;
You do not take pleasure in burnt offering.
The closer we are to God, the more we understand what grieves His heart, therefore:
17The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
A broken and a contrite heart, God, You will not despise.
He sees you in your brokenness, and offers His forgiveness, compassion, and His presence. I think as Christians we get too flippant and "comfortable" in our idea of forgiveness, and just recite words without understanding how our sin truly grieves His heart. I know I have been. Do I really KNOW my wrongdoings? When have I ever asked God to truly show me my sins? What have I done that grieves His heart? When was the last time I REALLY poured out my heart before God in deep repentance for my sins? Have I truly felt how wrong and destructive it was, and admitted that before God? Have I allowed Jesus to come and wipe it clean? And heal those dark places where sin and regret keep me from freedom? From the joy of His presence? I encourage you to use these verses as your prayer today, and find forgiveness, healing, and joy in His presence.
18¶By Your favor do good to Zion;
Build the walls of Jerusalem.
19Then You will delight in righteous sacrifices,
In burnt offering and whole burnt offering;
Then bulls will be offered on Your altar.
Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing!