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TEXT: Psalm 51:8,12

SUBJECT: Kids' Sermon #52: Give Me Back My Joy

Listen up kids!

This afternoon, we'll continue in our study of Psalm 51. Before we get to the new stuff, however, let me ask you ask you about the old stuff:

David wanted mercy. This means he wanted a favor from God-a favor he did not deserve. Do sinners deserve anything from God? Sure we do! We deserve His punishment. But that is not what David wanted-what he deserved or what he earned. He wanted something he didn't earn, something he didn't deserve: he wanted mercy.

That's what you should want more than anything else: more than a new bike, a Gameboy or a big stack of Yu-gi-oh cards. You ought to want God's mercy more than good health, more than better grades in school, more than a best friend, more than a raise in your allowance. There's nothing like God's mercy. You need to ask Him for it-and keep asking until you get it.

God's mercy is sort of like the Wiley family-one family, but too many members to keep track of! In fact, every good thing we get from the Lord, from salvation to a sunny day is part of His mercy.

The ones we've looked at so far in Psalm 51 are these: (1) forgiveness, (2) cleanness, and (3) fellowship with God. These are the mercies David wanted and the ones he got because:

There's one more thing David wants from God and that is.joy. Look at vv.8,12,

"Make me to hear joy and gladness.

Restore to me the joy of your salvation".

DAVID'S LIFE WAS HARD

If you read David's life in the Bible, you know it was not an easy one. As a kid, he was not his parents' favorite son, for example. He had the worst chores to do at home. He had six or seven older brothers who didn't like him. His family was poor. Even when he did great things for King Saul, the king couldn't even remember his name.

When he grew up, things got even harder. The king was hunting him like a wild dog. His best friend died. His wife and kids were kidnapped. His own soldiers talked about stoning him to death.

But, at thirty, he became the king of Israel and things got real easy for him, right? Wrong! They got even harder. For seven years, he fought the armies of Abner. Then, he warred against the Philistines. He had a bunch of wives and kids who never stopped bickering. And then, he had tons of hard work to do.

Did you ever feel up to your chin in homework or chores or other things you had to do, without enough time to do them? That's how David felt most of the time-buried in work and warfare and family problems and other things too.

DAVID'S LIFE WAS HAPPY

Although the king's life was very hard, it was also happy. Even when things went wrong, he still had joy because he still had the favor of God!

In Psalm 17, for example, David is in all kinds of danger: He's oppressed by the wicked.surrounded by deadly enemies.They are like lions ready to tear him to pieces. His enemies are heartless men who speak proudly against him. Have you ever been falsely accused? Accused of doing something you didn't do? You try to explain yourself, but no one listens. In fact, the harder you try, the more sure they are that you did it! This is very painful and frustrating. It will make you miserable. But David didn't feel that way at all. He says to the Lord,

"Keep me as the apple of your eye".

The word, apple doesn't mean a fruit that you're especially fond of. It means your pupil-that black dot in the middle of your eye. Now, you probably never thought about it, but your pupil is very precious to you! David said, I'm that precious to God. This made him happy, even when things weren't going his way.

There's a story at the end of I Samuel. David and his men have attacked the Philistines. But while they were gone, the Amalekites raided their town, burned down their homes, stole their goods, and.ran off with their wives and children. When the soldiers got back, they went all to pieces with grief and worry. They all did, that is, but David. I Samuel 30:6 says he

"Encouraged himself in the Lord his God".

Of course he was sad about what happened and worried about his family. But that's not all he was: sad and worried. He was also encouraged because he still had the favor of God.

You cannot read many Psalms without finding David rejoicing in the Lord. The one I know best is also one of the best, 122:1,

"I was glad when they said unto me,

let us go into the house of the Lord".

David's life was happy, then, not because he was never sick or never had a problem, or had the most wonderful family in the world, but because, he had the favor of God. He was pleased with God and he knew that God was pleased with him.

DAVID LOST HIS HAPPINESS

Do you know what it means to take something for granted? It means to think what you've got cannot be lost. For example, you have a friend, a very good friend. But, you're getting tired of your old friend or maybe you've met someone new, and now you start ignoring your old friend, excluding him, or even being mean to him. You do all this because you think you cannot lose him. No matter what you do, he'll always be your friend.

But that's not always so. If you ignore and mistreat your friend, you may lose him. And when you want him back, he won't be there for you.

David's happiness was like this. He thought he couldn't lose it. He had been joyful in the Lord for many years-for twenty or thirty years he had enjoyed the favor of God more than anyone in the world!

But he took that happiness for granted.

He committed three very great sins: he stole a man's wife, he had the man murdered, and then he covered it up for months, pretending that everything between himself and the Lord was fine, just fine.

But things were not fine. What David did greatly displeased the Lord. And every day David pretended otherwise made it worse.

He lost the favor of God and with that favor, he lost his happiness. There was a lot to make him happy! He lived in a palace, had the best food, the most beautiful wives, great fame and lots of money. Yet the stubborn king was the most miserable man in the world.

He said so himself, in Psalm 32:3-4:

"When I kept silent, my bones grew old through my groanings all the day long. For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me; my vitality was turned into the drought of summer".

I'm not sure what all these things mean, but I bet that old bones, groaning all day, being dried out, and feeling a heavy hand pushing you down all the time are not the most pleasant things in the world! That's how David felt when he sinned and wouldn't admit it.

Did David lose God when he sinned? No he didn't. But he lost God's favor and that made thinking about the Lord a painful thing instead of the happy thing it used to be for him.

Your happiness in God can be lost by sin. And will be, unless you confess your sins to the Lord and repent of them.

Do you want to be unhappy-really, miserably, rottenly unhappy all your life and beyond? If you do, I can tell you how to do it: it's guaranteed to work: Live without God's favor.

Deny your sin, blame others for what you do, pretend the Lord doesn't know what you've done, and you'll unhappy. Forever. The Bible says so, Proverbs 28:13,

"He who covers his sins shall not prosper,

but whoever confesses and forsakes his

sin shall find mercy".

.And with that mercy, happiness.

DAVID PRAYED TO GET HIS HAPPINESS BACK-AND GOT IT BACK

Some people are too stubborn to be happy! They wouldn't take happiness if you gave it to them. There's a word for that: sulking. It's the pleasure you feel in unhappiness.

But isn't that the stupidest thing in the world: Not taking happiness when you can have it. And that's the point, you can have it.

David lost his happiness, but he also got it back. How? By getting back into the favor of God. How did he do that? By honestly confessing his sins.

"For I acknowledge my transgressions and my sin is ever before me. Against You, you only, have I sinned and done this evil in your sight-You may be found just when You speak and blameless when You judge".

He said "I did it and nobody made me". He said "Whatever You accuse me of, Lord, I accept". That is confession-that's what the very word means, "To speak the same thing", to say the same thing about your sins-and what they deserve-as the Lord does.

In confessing your sins to the Lord, you're not revealing some secret thing to Him-as though He didn't already know it. But what you're doing is taking responsibility for them. When you do that, the Lord is happy to forgive you. Even if your sin is extremely wicked or repeated over and over again.

"If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness".

Your sins both grieve the Lord and make Him angry. But confessing your sins won't. In fact, it will make the Lord happy. And if the Lord is happy with you, you'll be happy.

Do you want to be happy? If you do, you can be. But not just any way you want to. Your happiness depends on having God's favor. You get that by confessing your sins and praying for mercy. If you do that, you'll be happy. God says so. And you can take His word for it. Now do that. And God's love be with you. Amen.

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