Light to Live By

"The unfolding of your words gives light ..." (Psalm 119:130a)

Category: Revival (page 1 of 4)

A Revival of Joy

Revival means “to live again” or “to give life again.”

Apply that to joy—“to live in joy again” or “to give joy to life again.”

Sounds pretty good, huh?

If you agree, consider this tidbit from Nehemiah . . .

“… the joy of the Lord is your strength … And all the people went … to make great rejoicing, because they had understood the words that were declared to them.” (Nehemiah 8:10b, 12)

See the double reference to joy and rejoicing?

The “joy of the Lord” could mean either: a) the joy the Lord possesses (it is the Lord’s own joy) or b) the joy the Lord gives (the joy the Lord distributes). I suggest Nehemiah has the latter in mind.

So how does the Lord intend to give or distribute this joy that only He can give?

Look at this in context. We have set before us in the middle of Nehemiah the pattern for revival among God’s people:

  1. God’s Word proclaimed to and understood by the people. (Neh. 8)
  2. Confession and repentance of the sin exposed by God’s Word. (Neh. 9)
  3. A new commitment to obedience. (Neh. 10)

Chapter 8, then, concludes by reminding us that all of this flows from joy—freshly out-poured joy! Such joy arises from experiencing God’s voice from His written Word with clarity and understanding.

Two principles emerge …

  • Strength is in direct proportion to joy.
  • Joy is in direct proportion to hearing God’s voice with understanding.

So what would be the pathway to joy?

The pathway to a revival of joy might look like this:

God’s Word heard with understanding → produces joy → providing strength to change and live differently

If I am weary and powerless, I need joy.

If I need joy, I need to hear God with understanding.

When you need joy, the world says, “Indulge yourself!” God says, “Listen to me.”

When joy recedes the world says, “Be yourself!” God says, “Draw near to me.”

The world diagnoses joylessness and prescribes listening to your desires. God spots your joylessness and moves toward you, inviting you to listen to Him.

So you want more joy? What does God’s Word suggest you do to revive joy in your life? How will you take that step toward joy?


“Return to me, and I will return to you, says the LORD of hosts.” (Malachi 3:7)

Oh That He Would Come!


“It makes me boil when I think of the power we profess and the utter impotency of our action. Believers who know one-tenth as much as we do are doing one hundred times more for God, with His blessing and our criticism. Oh if I could write it, preach it, say it, paint it, anything at all, if only God’s power would become known among us!” — Jim Elliot (Shadow of the Almighty, p.138)

The Difference


“… ten seconds in the presence of God can accomplish more than all the human effort of all time combined.

When revival comes, it restores our first love for the Lord Jesus and brings unquenchable joy … releases us from the bondage of sin and self, and sweeps us into the freedom of life in the Spirit.

Revival leaves us hungering and thirsting for God. We’re not longer satisfied with human efforts, man-made programs, or short-lived strategies.

Revival leaves us seeking that which is real, lasting, and supernatural. It causes us to seek the truth, even if it hurts …

Revival awakens in our hearts and increased awareness of the presence of God, a new hatred for sin, a new love for God, and a hunger for His Word …

Revival results in fresh commitment to obey anything God says to us and to yield without question, hesitation, or reservation to the lordship of Christ in our lives. Intense love for Jesus and increased faith and fervency in prayer are marks of revival.” (Del Fehsenfeld, Jr., Ablaze With His Glory, pp.33-34)

Remorse vs. Repentance


“What is the difference between repentance and remorse? The question demands an answer. Not all that weeps is truly broken. Not every promise of reform produces real change. The Scriptures make clear that ‘godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death.’ (2 Cor. 7:10). Not all that appears religious in its regret is genuine repentance. It may be nothing more than remorse …

Remorse is sorry for being caught; repentance is grief over the sin. Remorse is distress over the consequences, repentance is broken over rebellion against a holy God. Remorse is temporary and fleeting, but repentance is lasting and life-changing. Remorse is the embarrassed cry of an unbroken soul being caught red-handed, while repentance is the believer’s cry of horror over the darkness of his own soul. Remorse hides self-will under the cloak of contrition. When the spot light is off, self-will crawls out from under the wraps to ascend the throne once again. Real repentance, on the other hand, comes clean, slays self-will and ushers Christ back to His rightful place on the throne of our lives. Real repentance begins in a moment, but becomes an abiding attitude and orientation to life.

Mere remorse is Satan’s tool to torment a bankrupt soul, to deceive that soul into believing it has done business with God. Repentance is God’s gift to liberate a soul that has been undone before His infinite holiness and to usher it into the new life He offers in Christ.” (Praying Through, 139, 149)

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