Do you remember the feelings of joy you had when you first gave your life to Jesus?
That is called the joy of salvation.
Most of us experienced that joy but as time has gone on, that joy has waned.
The Bible teaches that joy is a fruit that we can walk in daily.
In this article I hope to teach you how you can walk in the joy of your salvation on a daily basis. When you learn how to walk in the fruit of joy, it will change your life. It will change your whole demeanor. You will live with a bounce in your step and a song on your breath. I don't know about you, but for me, that type of life is something worth living.
So let's take a look at what it takes to live daily with the fruit of joy in your salvation.
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
and make me willing to obey you.
C.S. Lewis is quoted to have said
"We would not recognize joy if we have never experienced pain."
The Psalmist David in writing Psalm 51 is recognizing that fact. This Psalm is a Psalm of repentance after being confronted about his sin with Bathsheba. He is experiencing the pain of knowing he has broken the heart of God and the hearts of many people.
The joy of our salvation comes from the relief of the pain we feel when we know that God has forgiven us of our sins. That is why when people first get saved they experience great joy. They have been relieved of the pain of conviction concerning their sin.
It is in this first initial experience of the joy of salvation that we get a key to living in constant joy.
I do not believe in living in the past. The past is forgiven. The past is behind us. The past has no power over us. However I do believe in remembering where we have came from.
If you do not learn from the past then you are doomed to repeat it. If you do not remember the past then you will forget the pain that you were relieved of.
The key to walking in constant joy is to remember where you have come from.
The Apostle Paul never forgot the amount of pain he caused God and others by persecuting the church. He remarks in the book of Timothy,
1 Timothy 1:15
This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.
That does not mean that Paul thought he was still the same person. It does not mean that he wallowed in his past never knowing that he was truly forgiven. It means that he never forgot where he came from.
If we are to live in constant joy, then we need to remember the pain that we have been relieved of. We need to remember what we are set free from, forgiven from, and changed from. When you think of these things, then you will have joy.
1 Peter 1:8
whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory,
Since walking in constant joy is available, what do we do if we are not experiencing it?
There are 2 things that keep us from experiencing joy. Forgetting all that God has done and not trusting in all that God will do.
Forgetting causes us to no longer feel gratitude to God for what He has brought us out of.
Not trusting in all that God will do allows us to try to work things out ourselves and to worry if they do not turn out.
Gratitude and joy go hand in hand. When we count our blessings, joy comes.
Take a moment to remember. Think back to all the things that God has brought you out of. Consider taking the time to write them down and put them on your refrigerator or bathroom mirror. Start reminding yourself of all the things God has done for you.
Make a list of all the things that you are worrying about. Ask yourself this question. "Is this in God's hands or my hands?" Place those things into His hands. Let Him decide if they need to be worked out or not.
Surrender to His will and not your own. When you do that, then there is nothing to worry about. The worry leaves and joy returns. Jesus put it this way.
"Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.
Finally, learn to walk in the presence of God in all of your daily life. Not just as a theological truth but as a practical experience.
Learn to continually sense His presence around you. He is there. He has never left. He did not forsake you.
Learn what Jesus meant when He said that He is the vine and we are the branches. Stay connected to the vine and you will produce the fruit of joy. You will walk in the joy of your salvation once again.
Pastor Duke Taber is the Senior Pastor at The Vineyard Church in San Carlos Ca. He is an alumnus from Life Pacific College and Multnomah Biblical Seminary. He is a husband, father, and grandfather.
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