Monday, 28th September 2020
REPENTING AND REJOICING
Pastor Soong Kok Kee
Psalm 51: 12-15
Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will turn back to you. Save me from bloodguilt, O God, the God who saves me, and my tongue will sing of your righteousness. O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise.
A Christian woman asked another believer how he was doing. With a broad smile he replied, “Repenting and rejoicing, sister!” I believe this brother was walking in a spirit of repentance – daily confessing and turning from sins and rejoicing in God’s forgiveness. Because honest repentance involves sorrow, we may sometimes forget that repenting leads to rejoicing. When we first repented and became new believers, we experienced great joy. But if we then choose to live with unconfessed sin in our life, our joy is lost.
David believed his joy could be restored. After pouring out his prayer of repentance to God in Psalm 51, he made this humble plea: “Restore to me the joy of my salvation” (v.12). As David turned back to the Lord, his sense of purpose returned: “Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will turn back to you” (v.13). Through his faith in a forgiving and merciful God, David began rejoicing again in his salvation (vv.14-15).
Do we sometimes lose the joy of our salvation because we fail to deal with our sins? If we confess them, God will forgive us (1 John 1:9). He will restore your joy and help you overcome sins that trouble you. That’s what it means to be repenting and rejoicing.
Psalm 51 records David’s repentance after God sent prophet Nathan to point out his sin of adultery with Bathsheba and the murder of her husband Uriah (2 Sam 11). The last sentence of 2 Samuel 11 says “But the thing David had done displeased the Lord”. Our holy God is not happy with sin, not the sinner. No matter how big a sin we have committed, as long as we are willing to come to God in repentance and ask for his forgiveness, he will forgive. It had troubled me for quite a while as to how God had allowed the wisest man who ever lived, Solomon, to be born of such parents. The only answer I can think of is Ps 103:12 “as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.” And Jer 31:34 “I will forgive heir wickedness and will remember their sins no more”. He hates the sin but not the sinner.
The unhappiest person on earth is a Christian living in sin. That’s the reason David lost the joy of his salvation although he now has Bathsheba as his wife and 2 Sam 11:2 records her as “The woman was very beautiful”. The Holy Spirit in us will not allow us to enjoy the fruit of our sin. He will hound us till we come repenting before our God. That’s the reason some Christians confess their sins even before they are found out. They have lost the joy of their salvation and the only way they can gain back that joy is to come before God, repent and ask for his forgiveness, like David did. Praise the Lord for the work of the Holy Spirit.
My dear brothers and sisters, do you still have that joy of salvation in your life? If not, is there something in your life that needs to be put right before God? Do it right now, unlike the man who wrote to the Income Tax Department and said “I have not been able to sleep for the past few weeks because I under declared some income of mine. I am enclosing a cheque for RM1,000/-, and if I still can’t sleep, I will send you the rest.” Let’s pray you will not be able to sleep until you make it right with God and regain back the joy of your salvation.
Dear Lord, thank you for reminding us that if there is something in our life that displeases you, we will never be happy this side of eternity. Help us to have the courage to own up to our sin or mistake. We know you will always love us in spite of our sins for while we were yet sinners, you died for us. You hate our sin, not us sinners. Thank you Lord. We pray all these in the precious name of our Lord Jesus Christ. AMEN
一名基督徒妇女问另一位基督徒他过得怎么样。他面带笑容，回答道：“姐妹，悔改与喜乐啊！” 我相信这位兄弟正行走在悔改的灵里 – 每天认罪悔改，脱离罪恶，欢庆在上帝的宽恕中。因为真诚的悔改涉及悲伤，所以有时我们可能会忘记悔改会带来喜乐。当我们第一次悔改成为基督徒时，我们经历了大喜乐。但是，如果我们依然选择活在不认罪的生活中时，我们的喜乐就会消失。
诗篇51篇记录了大卫的悔改，因为上帝派先知拿单指出大卫与拔示巴的通奸罪和大卫谋害她丈夫乌利亚的罪（撒母耳记下11）。 撒母耳记下11的最后一句说：“但是上主对大卫所做这事十分不悦。”圣洁的上帝恨恶罪，但不恨恶罪人。无论我们犯了多大的罪，只要我们愿意来到上帝面前认罪悔改，并请求祂的宽恕，上帝必会宽恕。上帝为何让如此父母生下世界上最聪明的人，所罗门，这困扰了我好一阵子。我能想到的唯一答案就是【诗103:12】“东离西多远，他使我们的罪离开我们也那么远。”以及【耶31:34】“我要赦免他们的罪，不再记住他们的过犯。” 上帝恨恶罪，但不恨恶罪人。