Revive Us Again

Revive Us Again”

A revived heart is a refreshed heart. A revived heart renews our hope in Jesus, our surrender to His Person and a hunger for His Word. While we were In Israel, our group went to the World Holocaust museum. It was filled with displays of suffering. It was hard to digest mentally the level of suffering the Jews experienced. As we went through the museum from display to display it became painful to observe all the suffering. It was very intense to take in those images. My heart ached and empathized as I saw those pictures. By the time we made it through the museum, I was kind of looking forward to the exit door. Outside the exit door was a fresh perspective, a new reality. Now I use this to illustrate our hearts. Our hearts and minds are like museums that retain and record the things we experience. We see things and experience things that record images of anxiety on the walls of our memory. We hear things on the news or think things and forecast things, then they become framed and placed on the walls of our hearts and minds. Before you know it, we daily walk the halls observing the displays of fear, the displays of our predictions.

We are all experiencing a variety of challenges. I am on the phone everyday praying with folks that are experiencing hardships or headed into it. I can’t count the conversations I’ve had in the last two weeks with church members and some in our community. But one thing I have noticed, especially with our church members is an incredible faith. I could not be prouder of Mt. Sylvan Baptist church. It’s in a crisis that the best or worse comes out in us.  Faith is tested by trials. Trials do not govern our faith; our faith governs our trials. How we respond determines how we will react. And how we react will determine how we relate to others, the Lord and our spouses and children. In the epistle of James, he wrote about trials.

James 1:2-4 “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.”

Listen to these introductory words to the book of James in the Thomas Nelson New King James Bible.

“Faith without works cannot be called faith. Faith without works is dead and a dead faith is worse than no faith at all. Faith must work, it must produce, it must be visible. Verbal faith is not enough; mental faith is insufficient. Faith must be there, but it must be more. It must inspire action. Throughout his epistle to Jewish believers, James integrates true faith and everyday practical experience by stressing that true faith must manifest itself in works of faith.”

Revival in our hearts produces a faith in action. A faith in action is a faith surrendered. Paul expressed the dynamics of a revived heart in Galatians 2:20 “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”

When we experience a personal revival its incredibly refreshing. In a test we are looking for the exit door. We want relief. However, it’s in the test that God wants to produce revival in our lives. In my lifetime I have never seen us so close to a great awakening as we are right now. The church is temporarily out of the buildings but not out of service. We are ministering in new ways.  I miss our weekly gatherings immensely and can’t wait till we are all together again. But I also recognize that God is using this time to do an outreach that’s beyond anything we have ever seen. Messages are being streamed by Facebook, U-Tube and Internet like no time in Americas history. We long for our church to gather again and in time we will. We take so much for granted until we don’t have it. But God has placed us in a position to minister in unique ways. God loves people, He came to this earth to die for people. He arose on day three to save souls. An awakening to sin, to God and things that matter most is already revealing itself. Easter messages are penetrating darkness. Believers are stepping up to the plate to help others. I pray your using this time of testing to draw you closer to the Lord. I truly believe that Christians all over America are experiencing personal renewal and revival. As they do, God will burden His people to pray as II Chronicles 7:14 proclaims. And as revived believers begin bowing a knee in their kitchen, office, bedroom, or wherever God will hear from heaven. Read 7:14-16, its powerful. Now God always makes lemonade out of lemons. God can take tragedy and make it a triumph. God can heal our land. God can restore our economy like never before. Nothing is impossible with God.

This is a time to draw close to the Lord, and pray for revival in America and help our neighbors however we can. For now, the buildings are empty, yet the gospel is spreading unlike anything we have ever seen.  We don’t have any clue what tomorrow holds but we know who holds tomorrow.

I conclude with the Hymn “Revive us again”.

Revive Us Again by William Mackay 1867

  We praise thee, O God, for the Son of thy love,
For Jesus who died and is now gone above.

Hallelujah, thine the glory!
Hallelujah, Amen!
Hallelujah, thine the glory!
Revive us again.

 We praise thee, O God, for thy Spirit of light,
Who has shown us our Savior and scattered our night. [Refrain]

All glory and praise to the Lamb that was slain,
Who has borne all our sins and has cleansed ev’ry stain. [Refrain]

Revive us again – fill each heart with thy love;
May each soul be rekindled with fire from above. [Refrain]

William Paton MacKay (or Mackay) was a native of Scotland. Born at Montrose in 1839, he graduated from the University of Edinburgh as a doctor, but later ordained as a Presbyterian minister. He wrote or co-wrote a number of hymns.

The title comes from Psalm 85.6:
“Will you not revive us again,
that your people may rejoice in you?”

(The above is from the New International Version at Biblegateway).

Bro. Bruce Rudd

Leave a Reply