The global concerns about the coronavirus could so touch human hearts that the pressure ignites a revival of the rest and security that comes through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Times of crisis and brokenness encourage times of revival and awakening.
Gasoline engines use sparks to ignite fuel and form combustion in the engine. A spark is one way for God to ignite a combustion of revival. And the Holy Spirit does use sparks.
But there is another way to create combustion in an engine. Diesel engines use pressure to ignite fuel and form combustion.
Revivals sometimes combust more like diesel than gasoline—because of intense pressure. God brings revivals out of great crisis and brokenness.
"The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps" (Prov. 16:9, ESV).
The turnaround of a generation through the Jesus Movement in California in the late 1960s and early 1970s came out of the crisis and brokenness of young people exhausted with drugs and sex and conflict. Thousands of kids began organically coming to Jesus for healing and hope out of their brokenness.
Many of us are familiar with the brokenness that may occur at times in our lives through crises. But nations and movements can also follow this same pattern on a larger scale.
We can periodically become comfortable and successful in our own minds. But when a crisis erupts, it brings confrontation with fear.
"[Jesus and the disciples] got into a boat and began to cross over to the other side of the lake. And Jesus, exhausted, fell asleep. Suddenly a violent storm developed, with waves so high the boat was about to be swamped. Yet Jesus continued to sleep soundly. The disciples woke him up, saying, 'Save us, Lord! We're going to die!'" (Matt. 8:23-25, TPT).
This fear confrontation often becomes a pathway to faith. No longer can we get away with neutrality. We must either believe that God is good, and we are His beloved, or not.
"But Jesus reprimanded them. 'Why are you gripped with fear? Where is your faith?' Then he stood up and rebuked the storm and said, 'Be still!' And instantly it became perfectly calm. The disciples were astonished by this miracle and said to one another, 'Who is this Man? Even the wind and waves obey his Word'" (Matt. 8:26-27, TPT).
Faith leads us to believe that God loves us even in crisis. When that "faith-life" occurs in us, it opens our lives to receive Jesus as Lord and Savior. We encounter the salvation of Jesus Christ giving up His life for ours on the cross and giving us the righteousness of God in our resurrection with Him.
"But the righteous shall live by his faith" (Hab. 2:4b, ESV).
Faith becomes an expression of God's perfect will in our lives—which is for us to be with Him. Faith does not always remove the affliction or stop the maelstrom, but it brings wisdom from above, rest in the midst of crisis and joy that can be in our hearts even when circumstances are dire, all because we are near to our Savior.
"Now, because of you, Lord, I will lie down in peace and sleep comes at once, for no matter what happens, I will live unafraid!" (Ps. 4:8, TPT).
In communion, the goodness of the Father by the power of the Holy Spirit in Jesus becomes all that we can see clearly. Everything else pales in comparison to His goodness, even amid the coronavirus.
"Perfect, absolute peace surrounds those whose imaginations are consumed with you; they confidently trust in you." (Isaiah 26:3, TPT)
This is how revival can completely ignite the human soul (and entire societies) like a diesel engine. And—when diesel combusts, it burns longer and hotter than gasoline. The long, hot fires of revival are beginning to explode the nations with the light of God's love during the darkness of a pandemic.
Tom Phillips leads in sharing the Lord's vision to spread the gospel and to equip others to do the same as vice president of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. With his background in crusades and counseling at the BGEA, Tom has seen God bring millions to Christ across the globe. Tom and his wife, Ouida, make their home in Charlotte, North Carolina, and have three children and nine grandchildren.
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