Confession of sin restores the joy of salvation
Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice. Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity. Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. Psalm 51:7-12 NIV
Victory over sin is never possible until a regeneration within is a reality of experience. This regeneration begins when broken and a willing spirit sets in and receives the new life that Christ offers. Once a new creation becomes a reality the Spirit of God produces holiness working out God’s divine purpose. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here... God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:17, 21). David wasn’t content just to mumble a quick ‘forgive me for all my sins.’ He sees his sins as being robbers of his joy and gladness, and desires the restoration of these things (vv. 8, 12). He further sees his sins as the cause of God’s discipline (v. 8—‘the bones you have crushed’), and he desires to have that correction lifted. He sees his sins as provoking God to prevent His face turned towards him again (v. 9). He sees his heart being polluted by his sins and desires to have a clean heart (v. 10). He sees his sins depriving him of his commitment in the Lord’s ways, and longs to have that changed (v. 10). He sees his sins depriving him of God’s presence and God’s spirit, and longs for these to be reversed (v. 11). He sees his sins crushing him and prays to be upheld (v. 12). These things lead to two conclusions: (1) David took sin with utmost seriousness (2) David believed in a God who abounds in mercy. When a believer commits sin, he or she grieves the Holy Spirit. “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption” (Ephesians 4:30). This is why David asks that God will restore the joy of his salvation. A believer’s confession, when genuine and broken before God, seeks harmony with Him. The heart is fervent to know precious closeness with Him in obedient steps.