Faith: 'Will you not revive us again?' (Psalm 85:6)

Experience revived life and share that experience with others

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Above is the verse that Robert “Clem” Coleman used to ambush me.

I’ve told the story before.

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It was five short months since my mom died. And while she was only 79, it was a good death. She wanted to see her Jesus, a fact she had made abundantly clear to me, repeatedly.

I suppose I was ripe for an 80-year-old with the voice of an angel, which crescendoed and decrescendoed as he moved like an athlete (which he was) not past his prime.

He danced in the circle, made square by tables, around which a baker’s dozen plus one or two more of my fellow students sat.


It was the second time I had cried that day. The next two weeks would be the beginning of thinking about evangelism and discipleship and being leaders in the church in a unique and special way.

It was largely three years focused on three verses: Matthew 28: 18, 19 and 20 — some of the very last words of Jesus before he ascended.

But before evangelism or discipleship — aka outreach and spiritual formation, aka inviting and growing — we started in an ancient book, older than Matthew, but familiar to all: the Psalms and this verse in particular: "Will you not revive us again?" (Psalm 85:6)

How could we hope to accomplish our work unless new life, revived life, was breathed into our bones? And I ask the same question 13 years later — how, unless (will you permit me the word?) revival?

The point of revival is to experience salvation (Psalm 85:7-9), and all that that word means, and all that it means that we don’t understand, right?

Because any concept that is rooted in God’s work will be a concept we will be able to experience, but maybe not completely understand?

And if revival in my life is new life — revived life breathed into my bones — how could I not want to share that with others? Why would I experience life and not want others to experience the same?

So, with tears rolling down my cheeks, I said, "I’m in." I wanted (and want) to experience revived life and share the experience of revived life with others.


"Will you not revive us again?" (Psalm 85:6)

I think, implicit in the verse is also the notion that revival needs to happen, again and again, otherwise you’d just write, “Will you not revive us.”

But when you add “again,” there is comfort for this cat. Hope. And a heart’s cry that does not grow cold.

Father, root my desire for outreach in revival, fuel my invitations with new life into these old bones, for Jesus, and by the power of the Spirit. Amen.

John Just is pastor of Timberwood Church in Nisswa.

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