“Now restore us again, O God of our salvation.
Put aside your anger against us once more.
Will you be angry with us always?
Will you prolong your wrath to all generations?
Won’t you revive us again,
so your people can rejoice in you?
Show us your unfailing love, O Lord,
and grant us your salvation.”
For many of us, the start of the year has become associated with resolutions and goals. We look back on the past year and think about what we want to change, especially in our own lives. But if year after year we fail to keep these resolutions, then why do we keep doing it? Is it because of peer pressure or tradition? Is it because we know that some things need to change deep in our hearts?
Many are experiencing goal fatigue and change fatigue. People have stopped making goals because something goes wrong along the way. Even if they still believe something could be different. Even when they still want to try something different. Deep down, they know that things are good but could be better.
This year’s theme is revival. And in this current season, witnessing a revival feels strange. People are mentally and emotionally not ready for this to happen. Some might even be defensive. Some might even ask, “What needs to be changed? Why can’t we be okay with how things are?”
The goal: To be a household well
Having a yearly goal or theme helps some focus on what is most important. It can also help narrow the focus to the most crucial things that need one’s attention and God’s intervention. Instead of being overwhelmed by so many things, this one goal can keep a person on track.
This year, our goal is to make our homes into household wells. We hope that our homes and community will become places with life-giving water that only Jesus provides. To achieve this, we must be able to see how a household well behaves. We must be able to live those characteristics out. And this is where we need to ask God for revival. We cannot be a household well unless He brings change and grants us His favor.
We have evidence of God’s revival breaking through for His people throughout the Scriptures. There are many examples of this in the Old and New Testament where people witnessed God’s power change their situation. And if we believe God is who He says He is, we can also experience this revival for ourselves.
Where do you see yourself in need of revival? Believe that the best is yet to come. Believe that no matter how you might feel about things, there are always good things yet to come that you couldn’t have imagined.
In need of a revival
Compassion fatigue is a reality in our society today. It is a compounding problem that threatens to build up and not just for those on the frontlines helping others. It might also affect ordinary people trying to make sense of what’s happening around them, people who are sick, and those who can’t be there to help. It might even affect those who have become so accustomed to helping others that they no longer feel the joy and the purpose behind what they do. These days, we are all suffering from extra stress and having less margin, overwhelmed with our own problems.
Many of us are dealing with loneliness. The problem with this is that it turns the focus back to the self, leading one to think, “But God loves me. I can’t be lonely. I can just call or reach out to somebody.” Despite the truth that God loves us, this feeling can still be something many of us grapple with. We also need to receive compassion as much as we need to give it.
For all of us who need change and revival amidst all the weariness, we can turn to Psalm 85:8-13:
“I listen carefully to what God the Lord is saying,
for he speaks peace to his faithful people.
But let them not return to their foolish ways.
Surely his salvation is near to those who fear him,
so our land will be filled with his glory.
Unfailing love and truth have met together.
Righteousness and peace have kissed!
Truth springs up from the earth,
and righteousness smiles down from heaven.
Yes, the Lord pours down his blessings.
Our land will yield its bountiful harvest.
Righteousness goes as a herald before him,
preparing the way for his steps.”
As we listen to what God is saying, we must choose compassion as a blueprint for our response. God responds to us with compassion and mercy. And if we can’t seem to share this with ourselves and the people around us, let us recall God’s mercies and what He has done in our own lives. Ask yourself: What has God done for me?
As we are reminded of the goodness we have seen in our lives, let us respond to the mercies and righteousness God pours out on us. We can look out for ourselves and others by providing encouragement and help. We can also make time for self-care. We can take time to connect with others free from distractions. Let us remind ourselves that we are connected and that our purpose is to look out for our brethren as we take care of ourselves.
Above all, we must prioritize our relationship with God. Being connected with Him daily reminds us that He cares for us and has a purpose for us.
Through Jesus, since His birth, we see the revival of compassion in our midst. He is the purest and most complete form of compassion. Through His life, ministry, death, and resurrection, He has done for us that which we couldn’t do for ourselves. May the example of goodness He has shown us move us to show compassion to others.
Praying for revival
To “revive” means to activate, set in motion, or take up again, to make operative, to quicken, or renew in mind, to reanimate or cheer. In humility and confidence, let us ask our powerful and gracious Lord and Master to revive our faith—to activate it and set it in motion. This bold act of praying and asking for revival is one of the essential habits of a household well.
Let us join together with our brothers and sisters in Christ this year to pray for our revival.