The only time the joy of salvation is cited in the word of God is at Psalm 51:12. It was mentioned in King David‘s prayer after he repented and got saved again:
Joy Of Salvation Passage
Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.
The context of Psalm 51 is King David’s prayer for mercy and forgiveness for his sins of adultery and murder because of Bathsheba (verses 1,2). It is important to remember, he had already been forgiven (2 Sam.12:13), but was now praying to God for various things, including to have the joy of his salvation restored. He wanted the inner contentment and joy in his spirit returned, which he had experienced with his walk with God before he turned to evil and died spiritually (Ezek 18:24; etc.). His sins of adultery and murder had destroyed that, along with his possession of eternal life and salvation:
If a righteous man turns from his righteousness and does evil, he will die for it. (Ezek 33:18)
A man who strays from the path of understanding comes to rest in the company of the dead. (Prov 21:16)
The prophet Nathan had already confronted King David over his evil behavior and declared his sins were forgiven (2 Sam. 12) and that was before the point of Psalm 51. King David’s prayer in that Psalm is the prayer of a backslider.
Restore The Joy Of Salvation
How then can a former backslider, who repented, have the joy of his salvation restored?
- First, by praying for it to be restored as King David did, then
- afterwards walking holy before God.
After awhile David’s inner peace and joy must have improved. According to a man I personally know who had fallen away and was later trying to get the joy of his salvation restored after repenting, he told me about 3 months after he returned to God it was getting better and around 6 months he seemed to have it back. Perhaps, it might be like that for others too who, like King David, wanted the joy of salvation restored after repentance.