Restore to me the joy of your salvation; and uphold me with your free spirit.
I. SALVATION, AND THE JOY OF SALVATION, ARE SEPARABLE THINGS.
II. SALVATION HAS A JOY WITH WHICH IT MAY, AND SHOULD, BE CONNECTED.
1. Joy is the natural fruit of salvation possessed and experienced.
2. All the proper exercises of religion are in themselves joyous — love, faith, hope.
3. The command of God is, "Rejoice evermore."
4. The fruit of the Spirit is — "joy."
5. The language of the Psalms is, to a great extent, the language of joy.
III. THE JOY OF SALVATION, AFTER BEING OBTAINED, IS OFTEN LOST.
1. This was exemplified in the case of David — strikingly in that of Job.
2. Joy depends on a conscience void of offence.
3. Joy depends on having a heart right with God.
4. Joy depends on seeing the evidences of our discipleship to Christ.
5. Joy depends on the measure of our faith.
6. Joy depends on realizing the presence, and seeing the excellency of God.
7. Joy depends on God, in His sovereignty.
IV. SPIRITUAL JOY IS SOMETHING TO RE GREATLY DESIRED.
1. David felt it to be so — he longed for it.
2. Each believer feels it to be so — if he cannot; rejoice in God, he can rejoice in nothing.
3. It is a foretaste of heaven (1 Peter 1:8).
4. It is the spirit of praise (Isaiah 35:10).
5. It is a support under affliction (Habakkuk 3:17, 18).
6. It fits for duty. "Then will I teach," etc. He who has not a sense of God's favour and presence is a coward.
7. It is obedience to God's requirements.
V. JOY IS TO BE SOUGHT ONLY AS THE FRUIT OF SALVATION.
1. David sought only for this kind of joy — he had earthly pleasures in abundance.
2. The joys of salvation are the purest, and greatest, and most enduring.
3. Without these, the others are not accessible to the believer.
4. The great effort of man is to be happy independently of these joys.
(1) He fails in time.
(2) In eternity.
(3) God the source of joy, and of pain.
5. You can reach these joys only through salvation.
VI. A RESTORATION TO SPIRITUAL JOY IS TO BE SOUGHT FOR IN PRAYER.
1. God is its source.
2. God is its Author. "Thy salvation."
3. By prayer for it —
(1) His sovereignty must be acknowledged.
(2) His commands must be obeyed.
(3) The law by which He dispenses His blessings must be conformed to — "Ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full."
Parallel VersesKJV: Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.