The Lost Joy of Salvation Indicates the Need for Restoration in PRISONERS OF HOPE
In the midst of the joy of His salvation, our awe of Him grows. Our view of God becomes increasingly great as we understand the depth of our salvation. God's intent is to give His children an increasing joy and comprehension of His love. His Face is to be clearer and brighter to them. His splendor and majesty are to be felt dearer. Our conviction of His Gospel and Resurrection are to become stronger. Our resurrection with Christ is to become more and more certain. The Seeds of the Word of God are to result in the bearing of more and more fruit as He maintains the good soil of our hearts. The act of God in the life of the believer is to increase their faith, hope, zeal, and AGAPE. He will be seen as glorious and exalted and "they will keep His Name holy" (Is 29:23).
But God speaks in His Word of times when His people undergo a loss of the joy of His salvation. The worries, pleasures, and persecutions of the world lay hard on their spirits and cause them to be discouraged. For a short time, His people stumble into sin and stray from the narrow path. Pride may creep into their hearts as the devil delivers his attacks. The wickedness of the world and the guilt and shame from momentary sin clouds their view and they no longer feel as the pure and clean priests who carry the vessels of the Lord. They forget His great love for them and the effect is that their love for those around them turns dry. But they cannot deny Him nor can they continue in their sin and loss of sight of Him. The reason they cannot continue in their joylessness is because the Word of God lives in them and the Spirit is never taken from them. He had never allowed them to be cast from His Presence.
9 No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s Seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God. 10 This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not a child of God; nor is anyone who does not love his brother. I John 3
Jeremiah inquires of God "18 Why is my pain unending and my wound grievous and incurable? Will You be to me like a deceptive brook, like a spring that fails? Jer 15. " Though His people lose sight of the glories of heaven that they had seen, they never lose their hope and they never deny Jesus as Lord. They continue to praise Him and trust Him. Even in their distress they commit their spirits to the Lord and proclaim to the devil:
8 Do not gloat over me, my enemy!
Though I have fallen, I will rise.
Though I sit in darkness,
the Lord will be my light.
9 Because I have sinned against Him,
I will bear the Lord’s wrath,
until He pleads my case
and establishes my right.
He will bring me out into the light;
I will see his righteousness. Micah 7
all who forsake you will be put to shame.
Those who turn away from you will be written in the dust
because they have forsaken the Lord,
the Spring of living Water.
save me and I will be saved,
for You are the one I praise. Jer 17
Do You despise Zion?
Why have You afflicted us
so that we cannot be healed?
We hoped for peace
but no good has come,
for a time of healing
but there is only terror.
20 O Lord, we acknowledge our wickedness
and the guilt of our fathers;
we have indeed sinned against you.
21 For the sake of Your name do not despise us;
do not dishonor Your glorious Throne.
Remember Your covenant with us
and do not break it.
22 Do any of the worthless idols of the nations bring rain?
Do the skies themselves send down showers?
No, it is You, O Lord our God.
Therefore our hope is in You,
I will free your prisoners from the waterless pit.
12 Return to Your fortress, O prisoners of hope;
even now I announce that I will restore twice as much to you. Zech 9:11-12
Often the children of God have persevered in their acts of righteousness, but are tempted by the roaring lion who prowls around looking for someone to devour. They resist him and stand firm in their faith in spite of great suffering. During this suffering they may not feel His joy and the delights of His glory, but they trust in His promise to "Restore them and make them strong, firm, and steadfast" (I Peter 5). Their cry to their God is:
for the sake of My praise I hold it back from you,
so as not to cut you off.
10 See, I have refined you, though not as silver;
I have tested you in the furnace of affliction.
11 For My own sake, for My own sake, I do this.
How can I let Myself be defamed?
I will not yield My glory to another. Is 48:9-11
10 “This is what the Lord says: ‘You say about this place, “It is a desolate waste, without men or animals.” Yet in the towns of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem that are deserted, inhabited by neither men nor animals, there will be heard once more11 the sounds of joy and gladness, the voices of bride and bridegroom, and the voices of those who bring thank offeringsto the house of the Lord, saying,
2 This is what the Lord says: