Have you lost your joy and feeling hopeless? If you are facing a difficult time in your life we would love the opportunity to pray for you.
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My apple tree had died. One by one branches had fallen or had been torn off by a storm. Now there just stood the center trunk reaching its bare, lifeless limbs skyward and in several directions.
Maybe I should have that dead thing cut down, I thought.
Then one day I heard the mockingbird sing. Going out into my backyard, I saw him perched on the top of the highest branch of the dead apple tree, rendering his melodious repertoire to cheer the neighborhood.
No, I can’t have that tree cut down, I decided. That makes too good a bird perch. And whatever birds sit up there, I can see clearly and learn their different songs! So I continued to enjoy that tree. Though dead, it lived in a new way.
According to God’s Word, all of us are dead in sin before we are made alive with Christ by God who loves us (Ephesians 2:1-5). In that dead state true peace escapes us. We long for what we do not know. Some of us may even consider killing ourselves because life seems too chaotic and hopeless.
But when we call on the Lord to save us for Jesus’ sake, He reaches down and lifts us up and gives us a new life. Second Corinthians 5:11 tells us that when we are in Christ, we are new creatures. Old things are passed away; all things become new.
Even though we have been resurrected to new life in Christ, we sometimes fail to appropriate the benefits of that wonderful new life by not staying close to our Lord. Yet the good news is that our Lord is always near, and we can always get right with Him.
In God’s Word, David said it this way: “Lord, restore to me the joy of your salvation” (Psalm 51:12). And God did.
Some of those benefits of the new life in Christ are:
JOY. King David, in deep repentance, asked the Lord to restore to him the joy of His salvation (Psalm 51:12). Jesus promised to give us His joy, a supernatural experience that lifts our hearts to the heavenlies and puts a smile on our lips (John 15:11). It is within and is not dependent on our outer circumstances.
Peace. Jesus also promised us “the peace of God, which transcends all understanding” (Philippians 4:7), a peace that gives us strength through the severest trials.
Love. Jesus puts a love in our hearts, even for the unlovely, that shines out to others for Him and makes it possible for us to forgive others. (See 1 John 4:7-8).
Power. Jesus promised His followers the power of the Holy Spirit. (See Acts 1:8). King David, after asking for restoration, said, “Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will turn back to you” (Psalm 51:13). This power transforms us into soul winners.
Comfort. When we are right with the Lord, we are assured of the comfort of God in Christ whenever we need it. (See 2 Corinthians 1:3-5).
Assurance. When we’re walking with Jesus, we experience surety of this truth: “And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son” (1 John 5:11).
Prayers answered. First John 5:14-15 says, “…If we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. and if we know that he hears us–whatever we ask–we know that we have what we asked of him.”
Provision. The Apostle Paul, by inspiration of the Holy Spirit, assured the dedicated Christian at Philippi, “And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19).
Father God, Restore to me the joy of my salvation today. Amen
Questions: Are you experiencing the power and the joy of the Holy Spirit in your life? Are you worried about your situation? How can one turn from worry to being thankful even in dire situations?
About the Author Dr. Muriel Larson
Daily audio podcast: A second daily devotional, Changing our Nature, today on the Men’s Devotional Blog