Joy to the world

ARE WE looking with clarity at the signs of our times? What is the world showing us now? I’ll tell you what I see.

I see deep goodness — and tremendous need. We can be incredibly strong — and yet so fragile and fearful. Even the smartest can fall into the trap of narrow mindedness. Even the so-called wise can miss the point completely. Many have sold their souls to absurd ideologies. Meanwhile, those that some consider dumb carry a higher wisdom that few understand.

So what do we see before us now? How should we react to our times?

I believe we face a unique moment in history. Still, in many ways, history repeats itself. Crises come and go. Horrendous wars begin and end. Catastrophes happen. And yet, here we are. Some say it’s different this time, the stakes are much higher. Maybe, but maybe not. If you were in Dresden or Dachau in 1945 you would have thought hell had been unleashed on earth. Today, people in Yemen and Ukraine face similar horrific realities.

Nobody I talk to is optimistic about the future. Some may deny we are in a crisis of epic proportions, but no one says things are going great. Perspective matters, doesn’t it? If you look into the sky and you see bombs falling, you’re not at ease. Still, even in the face of the most difficult challenges, even in our darkest moments, we can find joy.

Joy at any time — is this something real? For those who place their faith in God, I am certain of it. I have seen it with my own eyes. I have heard the testimonies. Joy in the midst of terrible circumstances is possible. When I say joy, I don’t mean being in a good mood all the time. Instead it’s something much deeper. It’s your soul at peace with our Creator. It’s knowing you are never, ever alone. This is the joy we must cultivate during these tough times.   

More and more, I’ve been hearing the call for a spiritual revival. They say the only way to get out of this mess is through religion. And I agree. But how? How was it done in ancient times? How did Jesus do it? How did his apostles, disciples, and followers of every age do it? They got on their knees and prayed. They cried out to God.

Still, many who call for a spiritual revival aren’t mentioning prayer much. Maybe it’s because what they really mean by revival is the desire to return to the good old days — when Christianity was the dominant religion and the churches were full. But times have changed, and we can’t go back. Things will never be the same — but maybe they can be even better. Do we dare believe in this now? 

Could it be that simple then? Is prayer all we need? Of course not. We must think strategically. Action and sacrifice will be required. But prayer comes first. If anyone finds their faith has faltered — if your joy has faded away — take a good look at your prayer life. Is your communion with God thriving? If not, ask why.

Some want a spiritual revival, but they want to skip the spiritual part. They won’t sit still in the presence of God. They won’t cry out from the depths of their soul. In that type of revival though, any change will be superficial, not supernatural. Grace can’t be managed by worldly means. We can only ask for it. We can only receive it.

Even if you don’t believe that we are heading towards a cataclysm, nobody can deny that there is tremendous need out there. Things are shaky and could fall apart suddenly. Yes, the stakes are high, but few real solutions are being set forth. Instead, they pour more gasoline on the fire. A voracious quest for power and privilege hides behind banners of righteousness.

I say we must humble ourselves — get down on our knees. We must cry out to God and ask him to pour out his mercy. We must ask the Spirit to inspire the Body of Christ. It is a call to arms — but not of weapons of iron and steel. Instead we must take up truth, righteousness, the gospel of peace, the shield of faith, and the helmet of salvation (Ephesians 6:14-17).

The enemy will not be defeated unless we invoke God’s name and seek his justice. And his justice was established by the blood and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The final battle will never be won by military or political means. Instead, our combat occurs on a heavenly level, in the spiritual realm. Then Satan will fall down like lightening (Luke 10:18). And the Lord’s victory will be manifested in our lives, the lives of others, and in the promise of eternal life.

Those who accept the call to this struggle will be abundantly blessed — and profoundly challenged. They will raise their arms in thanks and praise to God. This makes no sense to the world, especially now. Instead, it’s all about finger pointing, shaming, and selfish desires. Many want something — power, money, vengeance — but in Christ, we possess everything.

In a true spiritual revival, the heart and soul cry out for divine love and deliverance. We may choose to ignore these things, but it comes at a great price, which we can see happening now. Even some who accuse others of offending God — they also offend him in their attitudes and methods. I never knew you, the Lord will say to them (Matthew 7:23).

But to those who listen genuinely, to those who trust and obey — they will be given much. And much will be asked of them. An enormous spiritual abundance will flow to and from them. Some will run a great risk or even give their lives for their neighbor, for Christ. They will focus on giving and loving and communing with the Father despite the storm. And together their voices will rise up in joyful praise.

The Church will then thrive in the Spirit unlike never before. I dare to believe in this.

If you know you are a child of God, do not be ashamed of the joy that fills your heart. Embrace it. Celebrate it. Do not underestimate its ability to transform and heal. The power of joy miraculously spreads and multiplies in families and communities.

And if you don’t feel joy, ask for it. It’s right there for you if you want it. Return to joy! Pray for it. Receive the Good News of being at peace with God. Then go and share this joy with the world. This is the revival we need so much right now.

. . . . . . .

Much will be required of the person entrusted with much, and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more.

Lucas 12:48

Never miss a post. Subscribe to Third Millennium Man.

Support my writing.

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s