Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit. Psalm 51:12
When is the last time you fully embraced the joy of salvation? Being honest, it’s something I speak of more often than I truly experience. I equate the joy of my salvation to the peace of knowing that my salvation is secure (John 10:28) and the promise of eternity in Heaven where we’ll be in the full light of God’s glory and splendor (John 3:16, Romans 5:21). WOW. It sounds amazing… but far away. And sometimes the true joy of my salvation, in the waiting, seems far away too.
While we cannot lose our salvation, we can certainly lose the joy of it in the day to day battles against sin and worldly distraction. While sin cannot separate us from the love of Christ (Romans 8:38-39), it can certainly put a damper on the closeness and intimacy we experience with our Lord apart from confession and repentance.
This is nothing new as even King David, a man after God’s own heart, begged Him, “Restore to me the joy of Your salvation and grant me a willing spirit to sustain me” (Psalm 51:12, NIV). David sinned (a lot), but eventually saw his iniquity with a contrite spirit and moved toward penitence and obedience, asking for God’s help in guiding him along the path of righteousness. With this step, he clearly saw the character of God to include His steadfast justice, mercy and grace (Psalm 51:1-9). This understanding brought immeasurable joy from which praise and worship overflowed.
Praise and worship.
Often these words are used interchangeably, but there is a distinction to be made. Webster’s Dictionary describes praise as an expression of favorable judgement, or the act of glorifying (a god or saint) especially by the attribution of perfections. Subsequently, Webster defines worship as the act of showing honor, reverence, respect and devotion to an object of esteem.
Praise can apply to any number of relationships and is centered on outward thanksgiving and recognition of great accomplishment. As followers of the one true God, we know that He has done great and mighty things; He is worthy of our praise… and if we are silent, even the stones will cry out (Luke 19:40)! All creation glorifies the Maker of the heavens and the earth (Psalm 19:1, Psalm 66:4).
Worship goes deeper. It is an ongoing heart attitude that involves adoration and surrender to something or someone. While our fleshly desires can tempt us to worship worldly things (idols), the Bible is very clear that we serve a jealous God who seeks those who will worship Him alone in spirit and in truth (Luke 4:8, John 4:23). Worship is centered on knowing our posture in relation to God Most High and understanding our purpose in relation to God’s creation and plan. We were made to worship Him; we were made to commune with Him; we were made to bring glory and honor and praise to Him above all others (Col. 1:16, 1 Cor. 8:6).
“I Thank God” is a song of praise purposed to move our hearts toward worship in both spirit and truth. The lyrics and melody praise God’s mighty works on our behalf with joyful gladness while invoking a heart of worship in surrendering our own strivings, self-worship, and schemes in favor of humility, contrition and repentance. It is a celebration of what God has done in our lives and a bold declaration that our worship is reserved for the Master, the Savior: the one true God who is to be feared above all gods (Psalm 96:4).
The most amazing joy is realized when our praise and worship join forces as they did with David in Psalm 51. Can’t wait to sing this song with you all again soon!
I THANK GOD
Wandering into the night
Wanting a place to hide
This weary soul, this bag of bones
And I tried with all my mind
And I just can’t win the fight
I’m slowly drifting, a vagabond
And just when I ran out of road
I met a Man I didn’t know
And he told me that
I was not alone
He picked me up, turned me around
Placed my feet on solid fround
I thank the Master, I thank the Savior,
Because He healed my geart, changed my name
Forever free, I’m not the same
I thank the Master, I thank the Savior,
I thank God
I cannot deny what I see
Got no choice but to believe
My doubts are burning
Like ashes in the wind
So, so long to my old friends
Burden and bitterness
You can just keep on moving
No you ain’t welcome here
From now till I walk
The streets of gold
I’ll sing of how You saved my soul
Hell lost another one
I am free, I am free, I am free