I resolve to seek joy in my salvation
and not in my circumstances or temporary things.
5 Days of Imperfect Resolutions: A Devotional for Imperfect Woman
5 Days of Imperfect Resolutions aren’t your normal New Year resolutions. They’re resolutions that are made in full consideration of life’s inevitable challenges and realities. And in case you’re already feeling a little overwhelmed here at the starting line of 2019, I think you’ll find these resolutions more encouraging than burdensome.
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Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.
~ Psalm 51:12
Joy. We seek it incessantly, yet it can be elusive. It has plenty of “lesser” cousins who try to pass for it (pleasure, happiness, enthusiasm, etc.), but real joy has staying power. It goes deeper than our circumstances and can sustain us through the hardest of times. The greatest joy emanates from the greatest truth ever known to man, the joy of our salvation.
Adam and Eve knew true joy. It flowed from perfect fellowship with their Creator in the Garden of Eden, the home he’d made to care for and to meet with his most beloved creation. But they knew joy lost as well. Can you even begin to imagine the fear and despair they must have felt after their disobedience? Genesis tells us they hid from God, who had promised they would die if they disobeyed him. Now they faced a punishment like no other. Death. Eternal separation from their beloved Father.
But our loving and merciful Father had a plan to save Adam and Eve. It began with death, as he slayed animals to cover his beloved children’s bodies and shame. That death was symbolic of another death to come, the death of God’s own Son, Jesus.
Even as God banished Adam and Eve from their perfect home and into a world where they and their descendants would forever fight the consequences of their fall, it wasn’t without hope. The promised Messiah would one day come and forever defeat sin and death.
Death is swallowed up in victory.O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?
~ 1 Corinthians 15:55
Jesus would restore our fellowship with God through his incarnation, death, and resurrection. He would restore our joy. This is the joy of our salvation.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!
According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith,
the salvation of your souls.
~ 1 Peter 1:3–9
Jesus has given us a joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory—eternal joy emanating from the salvation of our souls.
Joy always emanates from something, but not all somethings bring lasting joy. Alexis de Tocqueville wrote, “The incomplete joys of this world will never satisfy [man’s] heart.” Every human seeks joy. The question for us is, where?
I resolve to seek joy in my salvation and not in my circumstances or temporary things.
Your turn . . .
Where are you tempted to seek joy?
How can you train your heart to find its joy in your salvation?
The psalmist prayed for God to restore his joy, a prayer God delights to answer. Take a minute to do the same!
In case you missed them, here’s . . .
And be sure to check back tomorrow for another imperfect resolution and encouragement for your day and new year!
Photo credit: Hilary Hyland Photography
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