Psalm 51:10–12 “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. 11 Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. 12 Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.”

Charles Spurgeon was emphasizing to his class of young preachers, the importance of making the facial expression to harmonize with the sermon.

He told them, “When you speak of Heaven let your face light up, let it be irradiated with a heavenly gleam, let your eyes shine with reflected glory.

But when you speak of Hell—well, then your ordinary face will do.”

As we consider what biblical manhood is, we should remember that it starts with trusting Christ as our Savior, which brings an authentic joy of salvation.

Billy Sunday, when talking about Christians said, “If you have no joy, then there is a leak in your Christianity somewhere.”

But what does a Christian man do when they are struggling to have that Joy of Salvation? If we are going to be real about the Christian life, then we have to admit that it’s not always joyful.

As Christians, we have real struggles just like anyone else.

As we read Psalm 51 we get an inside view of an incredibly godly man, getting right with God. This is a story that exposes a man’s heart after an encounter with personal failure. It is also the Psalm of a King, who has suffered the rigor and discouragement of leadership.

David is the leader, politically, spiritually, and even musically, he was the leader.

This is a Psalm that we can all identify with because we all fail from time to time. Any of us, if you are honest with yourself, knows what its like to lose your joy.

So let’s get into this Psalm, and consider first that:

1. David had Known the Joy of Salvation

In this Psalm David says – “Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation”

The word “Restore” tells us that he had possessed that joy before.

In fact, it doesn’t take long if you were to read through the Psalms to see that great joy expressed quite often.

Psalm 9:1: David said to God…“I will praise thee”.

Psalm 21:1: David said to God …“The king shall joy in thy strength”.

Psalm 23:5: David said to God “… my cup runneth over”.

Psalm 34:1: David said to God “I will bless the Lord at all times”.

David went through a lot in his early years. He had seen the hand of God move in mighty ways on many different occasions.

Another great Psalm that put David’s joy on full display is:

Psalm 95:1–3 “O come, let us sing unto the LORD: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation. 2 Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms. 3 For the LORD is a great God, and a great King above all gods.”

This joy is available to all of us through the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Because it is only through Christ that we can discover the joy of salvation.

John the Apostle wrote in – 1 John 1:3–4 “That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. 4 And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.”

Salvation back then, in David’s time, was different than it is today but it was still by faith in God.

There was a time in David’s life that his Joy was full!

2. David had Lost the Joy of Salvation

Psalm 51:10–12 “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. 11 Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. 12 Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.”

In Vs 12, David said “Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation”

That word “Restore” tells us that he no longer had it. The situation here with David is not a new one, in fact, it is a common one.

If we are honest and willing to be transparent, there are many Christians today that can relate to this. I know I have.

There are many Christians that are feeling burdened who used to feel blessed. There are many that are sour, who once were filled with sweetness. There are many Christians, that are pouting, who used to be praising.

Why does that happen?  What causes such a dramatic change in our spirit?

Well in David’s case if you were to back up and read the full story behind Psalm 51, you will discover why.

David, who was once a God-honoring king, who regularly pursued the Lord in prayer, and sang songs of praise one after another, had let down his spiritual guard.

He had given into temptation and committed some pretty horrible sins.

He had committed adultery with Bathsheba, got her pregnant, then had her husband, Uriah killed to cover it up.

Uriah was one of David’s most faithful and loyal soldiers. He was one of David’s 37 mighty men of valor, and part of an elite fighting force. David had him killed in battle to hide his sin.

That sin had robbed David of his joy.

He could blame whoever and whatever he wanted, but that special joy was missing, and he had nobody to blame but himself.

Many of you know the story. The Prophet Nathan came and confronted David about the sin. Then suddenly, like a ton of bricks, the weight of his sin fell on him, and he collapsed spiritually under the load.

If the joy of your salvation has been lost there may be many different reasons why.

But it’s vitally important for you to realize that it’s gone if you are ever going to get it back.

It’s also important that you don’t try to deflect and blame someone else or something else, because the truth is, it’s on you!

If we are being real here then you have to real with yourself first, and then with God. That’s exactly what David did.

But, like David, you will have to decide if you want to stay in your spiritual misery like a cage that you have built around yourself

3. David Longed for Joy to be Restored

Let’s look at it again at Psalm 51:10–12 “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. 11 Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. 12 Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.”

David now has full realization of that moment, when the joy of his salvation departed. He had wandered away from the source of his joy and tried to find satisfaction in other things that cannot satisfy.

Feeding the desires of his sinful appetite seemed very appealing at the time, like the apple in the Garden of Eden.

But ….”sin will take you farther than you want to go…keep you longer than you want to stay….and cost you more than you want to pay”.

David thought that he was indulging in a one-time affair, that would pass unnoticed. But he was fooled by the lie of sin, and now he was caught up in its web.

The more he fought to free himself the worse it caught. Until finally, the Lord sent Nathan the prophet, to David.

We can read the story in – 2 Samuel 12:1–7 “And the LORD sent Nathan unto David. And he came unto him, and said unto him, There were two men in one city; the one rich, and the other poor. 2 The rich man had exceeding many flocks and herds: 3 But the poor man had nothing, save one little ewe lamb, which he had bought and nourished up: and it grew up together with him, and with his children; it did eat of his own meat, and drank of his own cup, and lay in his bosom, and was unto him as a daughter. 4 And there came a traveler unto the rich man, and he spared to take of his own flock and of his own herd, to dress for the wayfaring man that was come unto him; but took the poor man’s lamb, and dressed it for the man that was come to him. 5 And David’s anger was greatly kindled against the man; and he said to Nathan, As the LORD liveth, the man that hath done this thing shall surely die: 6 And he shall restore the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing, and because he had no pity. 7 And Nathan said to David, Thou art the man….” and we’ll stop there.

That was like a flash of light, a lightbulb went on spiritually, inside of David. It was then that he realized that his sin, had led him into a trap, and he had done unspeakable things.

My friend if you are an Authentic Christian, then don’t be surprised if you start finding your joy in the things that God condemns, that your sinful seduction becomes more important than your spiritual satisfaction.

If that happens to you, then don’t be surprised when you get caught in the web of sin.

Final Thoughts:

David was struck with the reality of his own guilt, and personal responsibility. So David repented and prayed for his joy to come back again.

So, what is the road back, when you lose the joy of salvation?

  • It is the road of remembering…that you once had that joy.
  • It is the road of confession…that you can’t blame anyone…but yourself.
  • It is the road of faith…getting right with God…and restoring your relationship with Him.

If you don’t understand what the Joy of Salvation is personally, then that’s where you probably need to start.

Having your guilt, and the burden of your sin against God, lifted by the forgiveness that can only come through Christ, brings a great joy that is only understood by those who have it.

If you don’t have that joy, then you don’t realize the heavy load of sin that you carry, until it’s been lifted.

If that’s you, then I want to encourage you as strongly as I can, to come to Christ today.

Bring Him your sin, and your guilt, and your shame, and receive the forgiveness, and grace, and joy that only God can give.