"Joy is that deep seated confidence that God is in control of every area of my life." Paul Sailhamer

“Joy is that deep seated confidence that God is in control of every area of my life.” Paul Sailhamer

a
FORGIVENESS: THE ESSENTIAL INGREDIENT OF JOY

Joy is that deep settled confidence
that God is in control of every area of my life.

– Paul Sailhamer

 

THE PASSAGE – PSALM 51

 

This morning’s reflection is so simple, so central, and impossible without God’s grace.
Forgiveness is the essential ingredient to joy. Not an essential element – the essential ingredient. Resentment or shame are joy killers.

Remember David’s profound moral failure against Bathsheba and Uriah? Psalm 51 is the prayer David wrote seeking God’s forgiveness. One line is a prayer I repeat over and over again: “Restore unto me the joy of Thy salvation”. The conditions for this joy? — that God forgives, creating a clean heart in us and renewing a right spirit.

I wonder if you have fully accepted the forgiveness of God in the cross of Jesus?
I wonder if you have forgiven others as Jesus has forgiven you?

In a season of high stress, it is super easy to allow resentment to build up against God or others – it is very easy, to our shame, to treat others badly.

 

THE PRAYER

In the presence of God, we are forgiven –
nothing stands between Him and us;
but we cannot feel His presence 
if anything is allowed to stand between ourselves and others.

– Dag Hammarskjöld

Allowing Psalm 51 to guide our prayers today, we ask the Holy Spirit to bring to mind areas that cry out for forgiveness in our own lives, places we are compelled to ask for forgiveness from others, and the grace to forgive others as God in Jesus has forgiven us.

 

THE PRACTICE: FORGIVE AND REMEMBER …

In the shadow of my hurt,
forgiveness feels like a decision to reward my enemy;
but in the shadow of the cross,
forgiveness is merely a gift
from one undeserving soul to another.

– Andy Stanley

 

We hear the phrase “forgive and forget” – I wonder how that works for you? Here is something to put into practice today (This joy practice is not a focused amount of time later in the day, it is intentional pauses throughout the day. Joy and forgiveness go hand in hand.):

When we are wronged or slighted by others, or when we act or speak in ways that trespass against God and really need forgiveness — remember. Remember the story of the Prodigal Son – or Jesus’ words from the cross – or someone who forgave you when you flat out did not deserve it. Train your heart and mind to take a turn into remembrance immediately when resentment or shame surface. Then ask God’s forgiveness or ask for the grace to forgive. That turn into remembrance is the way of salvation, the turn to restored joy.


Joy & Forgiveness first published by West Side Presbyterian Church on March 26, 2020. Republished by permission.

Questions For Reflection

1. In Psalm 51, David asks God to restore the joy of his salvation. He knew that only by the grace of God could he admit his guilt and find forgiveness. Have you fully accepted the forgiveness of God in the cross of Jesus? Has your joy been restored?

2. We need God’s grace to be able to offer forgiveness to others and to have our joy restored. Have you asked God for grace to enable you to forgive others as God in Christ has forgiven you?

3. Do you believe that forgiveness is the essential element to finding joy? Can you pause throughout the day to check in with God, and ask for grace to accept and to offer forgiveness when needed? Then ask Him for that joy only He can give.

Laurie Brenner

Laurie Brenner

Pastor

Pastor Brenner is a Pacific Northwest native. Laurie has served churches in Seattle, Vashon Island, Scotland, and Paris. After completing her Ph.D. in New Testament Studies at Durham University (England), Laurie returned to the classroom, teaching at Seattle Pacific University and Fuller Seminary until the fall of 2018, when she accepted the call to be Senior Pastor at West Side. She and her husband, David, love walking their dog in West Seattle, traveling, reading, and especially spending time with their grown kids (Emma and Jeremy) and many nieces and nephews.

You're Invited

 

You’re Invited to Discover More

Golden Divider

RELATED POSTS

Show Me, Lord • Prayer

Show Me, Lord

Teach me. Guide me. Are you overwhelmed, weary, discouraged, or unsure of how to live this life you’ve been given? There are three words you can always pray: “Show me, Lord.”

LEARN MORE.

Serve one another humbly in love.

Serve

Our hearts are wired to serve, because we were created for communityChronic illness can make serving in traditional or culturally familiar ways challenging, but not impossible. Discover creative new ways to love God and others right where you are, however you are able.

LEARN MORE.

This month, could you donate $7 ... The Cost of 3 Organic Banana's?

$8

COULD YOU DONATE ...

The Cost of 3 Organic Bananas? Be the heartbeat of hope to those affected by chronic illness, mental illness, chronic pain, and disability.

Printables • Downloadable Hope • Resources, tips, and tools to encourage and inspire everyone affected by chronic illness.

Printables

Downloadable Hope!

 

Resources, tips, and tools to encourage and inspire everyone affected by chronic illness. More than 100 beautifully designed, FREE printables, and there are always more coming. Step in, check back, download a little hope today.

LEARN MORE.

 

Thank you for signing up!

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This
Skip to content