Will you not revive us again,
that your people may rejoice in you?

Psalm 85:6

 

A black and white arial photo of people sitting on a bench that resembles music staves in contrast to the straight sidewalk.As I look back upon my life, I think of how God has poured out his grace upon me. Since I became a Christian at a Billy Graham crusade when I was only six years old, I didn’t exactly have a prodigal-son-like experience of repentance. But, since that time, I have messed up my life through bad choices and a residual penchant for sin. God has been gracious to me again and again, delivering me from the messes I make, giving me hope when I feel hopeless, and working away at helping me to become more like Christ. For God’s amazing, tenacious grace, I am most grateful.

Yet I am eager for more of God’s grace in my life. I yearn for revival.

Psalm 85 begins with a corporate experience of remembrance not unlike the personal one I have just described. The sons of Korah, who composed this psalm, begin: “You, LORD, showed favor to your land; you restored the fortunes of Jacob. You forgave the iniquity of your people and covered all their sins” (85:1-2).

But, as is usually the case, the people of Israel did not remain within the gracious restoration provided by the Lord. In verse 4, the psalm writers shift from celebration to supplication: “Restore us again, God our Savior, and put away your displeasure toward us.” They ask the Lord to quench his anger (85:5). In verse 6 they ask: “Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you?”

Won’t you revive us again? How often have I prayed this way throughout my life. Revive me again, Lord! God has been so generous to me, yet I fall back. God reaches out to me, yet I turn away from him. When the results of my sorry choices finally catch up with me, I echo the fervent cries of the sons of Korah: Won’t you revive me again?

The good news is that God is in the revival business. He will indeed revive us again. God’s grace is just that, grace. Grace depends on God’s unchanging nature, not on our faithfulness or worthiness. In the words of Romans 8:38-39: “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Thanks be to God!

QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER:

Have there been times in your life when you have prayed, “Revive me again”?

Do you need to pray that way today? If so, will you?

PRAYER:

As I wrap up this devotion with prayer, I remember a hymn I often sang as a child, “Revive Us Again” by William P. Mackay (1863). It echoes the prayer of Psalm 85.

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 hath shown us our Savior, and scattered our night.

Hallelujah! Thine the glory. Hallelujah! Amen.
Hallelujah! Thine the glory. Revive us again.

All glory and praise to the Lamb that was slain,
Who hath borne all our sins, and hath cleansed every stain.

Hallelujah! Thine the glory. Hallelujah! Amen.
Hallelujah! Thine the glory. Revive us again.

All glory and praise to the God of all grace,
Who hast brought us, and sought us, and guided our ways.

Hallelujah! Thine the glory. Hallelujah! Amen.
Hallelujah! Thine the glory. Revive us again.

Revive us again; Fill each heart with Thy love;
May each soul be rekindled with fire from above.

Hallelujah! Thine the glory. Hallelujah! Amen.
Hallelujah! Thine the glory. Revive us again.

Amen!

 

Photo by Sebastián Villegas on Unsplash.

 

Explore more at the Theology of Work Project online commentaryThe Ingredients of Salvation
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2 Responses to Do You Need to Be Revived Again?

  1. Joe Arnett says:

    A great devotional Dr. Roberts. I too remember that song from my childhood with joy and thanksgiving. Thanks for reminding us that we all need to be “revived again” and that God has promised to do it!

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