Joy has left our hearts; our dancing has turned to mourning. The garlands have fallen from our heads. Weep for us because we have sinned. Lamentations 5:15-16
Restore us, O LORD, and bring us back to you again! Give us back the joys we once had! Lamentations 5:21
In verses 15-16, there is no joy. And Jerusalem, who is the one doing the lamenting, knows why. The Jews, God’s chosen people, had sinned. They had been sinning for years, and, finally, they faced God’s judgement and most were taken captive to Babylon. Lamentations is a poem expressing all the terrible events that had overtaken God’s chosen people because of their sins. It speaks of horrible things including being buried alive, starving, and eating their children. Jerusalem says of her people “No one recognizes them in the streets. Their skin sticks to their bones; it is as dry and hard as wood.” Lamentations 4:8 But, the loss of their joy is of greater importance. It makes them realize that they have sinned.
A Christian’s joy is founded on our faith in eternal life. No matter how many trials we face, we can still be filled with joy because we have the Holy Spirit in us. Obviously, sinning on purpose without repenting separates us from God and puts us at risk for losing our salvation. Peter wrote, But now you must be holy in everything you do, just as God who chose you is holy. I Peter I:15 If you have unforgiven sins in your life, you probably aren’t overflowing with joy.
Lamentations 5:21 says Restore us, O LORD, and bring us back to you again! Give us back the joys we once had! To restore your joy, you have to go back to God and ask for his forgiveness and decide to get better control over your desires. Remember even small sins, or what we call small sins, are important to God. He tells us that all sins are equal.
Also ask God to bring to mind any sins you may not have in remembrance or ones you may not even realize are a sin and remember that anger is a sin. It is the hardest one for me to control. But it can be conquered. Ask for forgiveness as soon as you are aware of your anger and pray often for control. If someone in particular is making you angry, consider if you need to see less of that person. If you can’t, then pray for him or her mightily asking God to bless him or her. Try to see him or her as God’s child.
To feel inexpressible joy in our lives, we have to be close to God. This is impossible if sin is part of your life. Examine yourselves daily and pray for forgiveness and for God’s help to keep you from falling into old habits. Remember you are a new person in Christ. I pray that you will feel the joy.