Real Hope

Have your eyes glazed over a bit this week while I’ve been droning on and on about prayer and revival? Do those topics seem like hazy and lofty dreams, noble pursuits, but nothing you could really relate to?

Maybe it would help if I described what personal revival might look like. 

When I say “personal revival” I’m talking about God moving in your own life in an unmistakable and incredible way. When I talk about “corporate revival,” I mean revival that occurs on a large scale, whether in a church, community, nation—or globally! But corporate revival will not occur without individuals.

An individual can be used to spark corporate revival by being personally set on fire for God’s glory. 

Could you be that one?

Are you ablaze with desire for God’s glory to be seen in your life?

I hear from a lot of women who are struggling. I counsel women in my church, but also women who contact me from across the globe. No matter what continent, whether single, married, widowed, childless, or a mom to a houseful, the stories all share something in common.

One thing is an obvious common denominator.

Women need hope.

Women are struggling with issues like: marital affairs, financial loss, caring for an elderly parent, praying for a prodigal, widowhood, loneliness, spousal abuse. Women are confused and in need of truth. Marriages are failing, children are walking away from the faith and women are drowning in a sea of lost dreams and hopelessness.

Our only hope is God’s mountain-quaking presence!

I start off my mornings crying out to God. I desperately need His grace before I face the day, so my first moments are spent with Him. I want His companionship. I need His instruction. I desire to honor Him by giving Him the first of my day. He is my life-line and Living Bread.

During my time in the Word, I brew a cup of tea. For years I used a clear glass teapot to boil my water for tea. When the teapot of cold water is first set on the stove, it looks lifeless. It appears that nothing is going on at all, just calm, flat-surfaced, still water. But after a few minutes of heat, the water always produces a change. (I was able to watch this process through the translucent glass teapot.)

Visible change happens as the warmth from the fire heats the teapot. The water begins to move, it boils, pressure builds, and the water can look violent as it reacts to the heat. The fire brings a tangible transformation to the water’s calm surface.

One morning I made the mistake of not securing the lid tightly on my teapot and the building heat forced the lid off the pot. The lid shot into the air and landed with a crash on my tile floor. A million pieces of shattered glass covered the kitchen.

As I picked up the shattered glass, Isaiah 64 immediately came to mind:

[box]Oh, that You would rend the heavens and come down,
That the mountains might quake at Your presence—

As fire kindles the brushwood, as fire causes water to boil—
To make Your name known to Your adversaries,
That the nations may tremble at Your presence!

When You did awesome things which we did not expect,
You came down, the mountains quaked at Your presence.

For from days of old they have not heard or perceived by ear,
Nor has the eye seen a God besides You,
Who acts in behalf of the one who waits for Him.[/box]

Just as the heat transformed the water in my little teapot, when God chooses to bring His presence close, His Spirit can bring things to the boiling point! He can bring to the surface hidden heart issues, He can apply the correction of His Word, He can infuse passion in a weary soul, and He can rescue the perishing.

Basically, when God shows up, transformation happens!

When we humble ourselves before His almighty hand, when we surrender ourselves to His will and plan, when we seek His face, He responds with His fiery presence to bring Himself glory!

When real revival comes, the young widow is filled with peace and hope for the future, broken marriages are restored, the drug addict is set free, the rebel returns home, the arrogant humble themselves, and the greedy share their abundance with those in need. When the Church is revived, it impacts the watching world. And those who need a Savior will run to where they see Him at work!

When the Church is revived, the gospel is seen and known, sinners are rescued and set free, and God is glorified.

Revival is God at work among us. That is our only hope.