Psalm 51:10-19

A store in the little Southern town where I attended college had a sign out front that read, “If we ain’t got it, you don’t need it.” A similar sentiment could apply to the book of Psalms. Its 150 chapters cover every emotion in the human experience. I often thank God for that.

Yesterday, we heard the psalmist’s painful confession, but we also
heard words of hope and confidence in God. In today’s verses this
hope grows stronger. The writer yearns to become a new person.

David pleads, Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me (v. 10). The writer prays, Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and sustain in me a willing spirit (v. 12). The distraught poet is desperate to change but knows that the transformation we most desire comes from God.

When you find yourself desperate to renew your spirit or to
restore your joy, where do you turn? If you are wrestling with this
question, today is a great day to give it some thought. The Artist
who creates clean hearts, new and right spirits, and restores joy
uses varied ways and moments to recreate us: corporate worship,
prayer that centers us, music that energizes our spirit, a nature
walk that fills us with wonder, lunch with a friend that deepens our

With today’s psalm, God reminds us that when we call for help
with willing, contrite hearts, God hears and responds.


How are my current ways of seeking joy and spiritual energy sustaining me? What new spiritual practices might God use to renew a steadfast spirit within me?


God, in the midst of a long winter, we find it easy to become spiritually sluggish. Show us the ways in which you will renew our spirits so they will radiate joy. Amen.

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