"He who has ears to hear, let him hear." Luke 14:35b

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Judgment That Leads to Revival

Guest blogger Pastor Mike Gonzalez shares a message today about God's impending judgment on our nation and the hope we have as Christians. Welcome, Mike!

Do you believe that God is capable of doing great and mighty things in our generation? Do you believe it’s possible that the LORD Himself could be raising up such godless people in our nation in order to bring a purifying judgment among His people?

In Habakkuk's day, God raised up the Chaldeans (the Babylonians), a ruthless, cruel and violent people in order to bring punishment and correction for the sins of His people in order to bring them back to a right standing with Him and revive them once again. Habakkuk had become discouraged that his prayers and cries to the LORD had not been answered concerning the wicked in the land, “How long, O LORD, must I call for help? But you do not listen! “Violence is everywhere!” I cry, but you do not come to save. Must I forever see these evil deeds? Why must I watch all this misery?” (Habakkuk 1:2-3a NLT).

Habakkuk was so overwhelmed with how unrighteous the land had become, “The law has become paralyzed, and there is no justice in the courts. The wicked far outnumber the righteous, so that justice has become perverted” (Habakkuk 1:4).

Does this sound familiar? Think about how often we struggle with the injustice and perversion we see and hear about, not just on television, but from the mouths of our so called-religious and political leaders. Daily we’re shocked at how laws are being abused and enforced, and we seem to only shake our heads in frustration and disbelief with our usual complaint about these leaders. We sometimes feel powerless and confused as to what to do and many, even within the church, are giving up or becoming indifferent because of the level of wickedness in the land which is causing our love to grow cold (Matthew 24:12).

Notice the response of the LORD to Habakkuk, “Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets…For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay…the righteous person will live by his faithfulness” (Habakkuk 2:2-4 NIV).

Did you catch that? The righteous will live by his faith! When God brings judgment in the land, as I believe He is doing with America and the Western church, we are not to complain or run to our own strength to seek deliverance, but rather we must cry out to the One who will not only bring promised judgment on all evildoers but is willing and able to bring revival to His people.

Habakkuk turned to God in prayer and said, LORD, I have heard the report about You; LORD, I stand in awe of Your deeds. Revive [Your work] in these years (in our generation); make [it] known in these years (in our generation). In [Your] wrath remember mercy! (Habakkuk 3:2).

We must also trust in the Lord and cry out to Him to remember mercy in the midst of His wrath. God is able and willing to revive His people, but we must confess our sin and wait upon the LORD for His appointed time. It will be difficult, and many trials are ahead for the people of God. Persecution is coming. Economic disaster is looming over the horizon for our country and the world. Many are hopeless and falling away from faith, but the remnant people of God will be revived and will not fear because even “in a year of drought (we will never) fail to bear fruit” (Jeremiah 17:8).

Let us put our confidence in the Lord whatever the circumstance or situation we face, and we will be able to say like Habakkuk, “Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior. The Sovereign LORD is my strength” (Habakkuk 3:17-19a).

Rejoicing for Revival,
Pastor Mike

Mike Gonzalez is the senior pastor at Columbia World Outreach Church in South Carolina. He is a graduate of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.

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