Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you? Show us your steadfast love, O Lord, and grant us your salvation. Let me hear what God the Lord will speak, for he will speak peace to his people, to his saints; but let them not turn back to folly. Surely his salvation is near to those who fear him, that glory may dwell in our land. Psalm 85:6-9 ESV
Cultivating joy through revival? Doesn’t that word evoke memories of tent meetings, cries and moans of remorse and sorrow, confession of terrible wickedness?
How would we react to revival if we were to look at it God’s way?
Revival is for God’s people (I’m not sure who said it, but I remember the statement, “you can only revive someone who is truly alive; you can’t revive a dead person. A dead person needs resurrection”)
Revival brings rejoicing in God. In His goodness; His steadfast love; His salvation. Learning to truly fear the Lord brings real joy. I am truly loved. I am fully accepted. I am complete in Christ. But it’s all based on God — on His character, His salvation, His love.
Revival opens our ears to hear God. My willingness to put sin to death (from Romans 6) and turn to God makes my heart more attentive to obedience.
Revival is continuous, and purposeful. It’s not just a once-a-year special-meetings kind of thing. Revival happens in my heart on a daily basis. It’s a decision to NOT turn back to folly . . .even when old habits, addictions, hangups, die hard. Repentance leading to revival is not just “taming the beast” — it’s killing the beast, and burying the beast and not coming back and digging it up and trying to resuscitate the thing.
Revival displays God’s glory. Not my self-righteousness. True revival develops a peace and contentment (i.e. joy) that is an evidence, not of my “fantasticness” but of God’ amazing redemption. In true revival, I am not the center; God is.
I have to fight for joy. But the fight to kill whatever hinders me from the enjoyment of my God is a worthwhile fight.
He is worth it. He is “Jehovah” — the self-existing God