I grew up singing verses ten through twelve of this psalm during the praise portion of weekly worship. I am tempted to speak of “corporate” worship, but corporations have given the word “corporate” a bad rap and I would much rather keep straight in my mind that this was sung during the weekly gatherings to worship. Not every week, but often enough that I cannot read the words without singing them in my mind.
As the new year looms, I feel that I need to be restored. It’s not that I feel I’ve backslid during the year behind, but that things have changed. I began this year actively looking for a house. Now, the search is more passive. I began the year as the father of a beautiful little girl. Now, my wife and I anticipate our second child. The year began with me in active service where my wife and I fellowship. It ends with me no longer involved with that ministry. The year has brought change, and how.
In the midst of so much change, it is easy to lose sight of how amazing God’s salvation really is. David asks God to restore the joy of salvation. This implies that David once took joy in his salvation and that the joy has slipped away. I suspect that the same is true with all fruit of the Spirit mentioned in Galatians 5 and that our love and peace and patience and so on can also slip. After all, it is salvation and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit that brings those. While David asked to have the joy of God’s salvation restored to him, I think I would like to have the whole gamut of Spiritual fruit restored to me. Not just the joy of salvation, but the peace that comes with it and the kindness that salvation inspires and the love that should overflow from me to others. As the new year looms, I need to be restored.
David also asks God to sustain [him] with a willing spirit. My spirit is often rebellious and unwilling, God commands a thing and my mind agrees that I ought to do that thing, but something in me is unwilling. I need to be sustained by a willing spirit. If my walk with God is to endure the year ahead, I need a spirit that is willing to comply with what God instructs. I need a compliant heart.
Father, as one year closes and a new opens, please restore to me the fruit of Your Spirit. Please restore the love and joy and peace and patience and all the others that seemed so freely available to me at the first. And, Father, in the days and year to come, may my spirit be a willing one that my walk with You would be one of sweet friendship.