The Scope and Focus of Revival (2)
A posterity shall serve Him.
It will be recounted of the Lord to the next generation,
They will come and declare His righteousness to a people who will be born,
That He has done this. Psalm 22.30, 31
Joy in the midst of suffering
Times of trouble are times for hoping in the Lord and His promises. No matter how great our troubles, or how far-ranging or interminable they may seem, the Lord stands ready to defend, deliver, and save His people, when they turn to Him in prayer.
No one understood this better than Jesus.
In His own time of deep trouble, hanging on the cross for our sins, Jesus was able to endure by praying to His Father, and then seeing through His troubles to the promised day of renewal that lay ahead. When Jesus cried out, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me”, He turned the thoughts of onlookers to Psalm 22, that great depiction of the suffering of God’s servant at the hands of angry, sinful men.
Surely, as Jesus cued up that psalm by crying out verse 1, some must have worked through the rest of it, if only in their minds. As they did, they would have seen before them the prophecy being played out before their very eyes.
Jesus suffered troubles more than any person or all combined. And yet, the writer of Hebrews tells us, He was able to concentrate through His troubles to the time of joy that lay just ahead: “…who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Heb. 12.2). Jesus embraced the agony and trouble of the cross according to all the wretched details outlined in Psalm 22.1-21. And He was able to do so because He did not allow His troubles to have the last word; the last word was what God promised in verses 21-31 of Psalm 22 – a coming Kingdom of glory and joy and lovingkindness, reaching to all the generations of the world.
Jesus bore up under His troubles by looking to the promise of the Kingdom that was to come.
God’s answer to Jesus’ suffering
And how vast and glorious is the vision of the coming Kingdom that rounds out Psalm 22! Note the following:
- the followers of Christ will come to know the Name of the Lord, and will praise Him together (v. 22)
- their children, and those they lead to the Lord, will fear and glorify the Lord (v. 23)
- a great assembly of God’s people will praise Him and seek Him diligently (vv. 25, 26)
- the poor will be relieved of their misery (v. 26)
- the Gospel will reach to the ends of the world, and families and nations will turn to the Lord (v. 27)
- the Kingdom of God will bring the rule of Jesus over all the nations of the earth (v. 28)
- the people who worship God will prosper in all their ways (v. 29)
- all peoples will bow to the Lord, even those who continue to cling to the dust (v. 29)
- the Gospel will reach to generations to come, so that His righteousness continues from age to age (v. 30)
This is what God promises that He will do, to reward His Son, Servant, and King Jesus for the troubles He endured. Jesus saw this, and He rejoiced, even in the midst of His suffering, because He knew that the Word of the Lord can neither be a lie nor fail!
Do we share this vision with our Lord Jesus? Does it comfort, thrill, and fill us with joy at the prospect of realizing it? Christ’s Kingdom, coming on earth as it is in heaven? A revival of religion to fill the Kingdom framework outlined in these verses?
When we pray for revival, we turn to the Word of God to tell us what to seek, what to hope for, and how to pray. We do not let present troubles deter us from seeking the will of the Lord. We rejoice in the midst of our sufferings, because we know what God has promised; we’ve seen what God can do; and we very much expect Him to bring a mighty Spirit-led movement of revival, renewal, and awakening in our day.
Praying Psalm 22.21-31 for revival
As God answered Jesus in His time of trouble (Ps. 22.21), He will answer us in ours. But we must follow the example of Jesus and look to the Lord in prayer, bearing up under whatever burdens He lays upon us, confessing and repenting of our sins, and focusing on the coming day of revival, according to the promises of God’s Word.
We do not make up the vision of revival we seek. We turn to the Lord and His Word, to guide us in our prayers. As we pray Psalm 22.21-31, let us give hearty and abundant thanks for Jesus, Who ever lives to make intercession for us, and will most certainly receive these prayers, inspired by His Spirit, and convey them to the Father on our behalf.
Let us pray boldly for all that God promises. And let us ask the Lord to begin using us today, and every day, to begin bringing this promised time of revival and renewal to pass. Join with other believers to seek the Lord for revival. Pray each of these verses to the Lord; thank Him for all that He has done thus far in bringing this vision to pass in our world, and pray that He will do even more than this – exceedingly abundantly beyond all that we could ever ask or think (Eph. 3.20), and wholly in line with what He has revealed to us in His Word.
Renew your soul and body in service to the Lord (v. 30), and tell His praises to this generation and the one that follows (v. 30). Call upon your fellow believers to join you in declaring the righteousness and Kingdom of Jesus to everyone in your Personal Mission Fields.
Then praise the Lord in advance for what He is going to do – because of what He has done, but more importantly, because of what He has promised in His Word.
1. Do you think the vision outlined in this psalm is one that Jesus wants you to embrace? What will that require of you?
2. Why is it important that we see ourselves as working toward this vision every day, both in our prayers and in our daily lives?
3. How can a vision like this – the vision that sustained Jesus on the cross – sustain and encourage us during our times of trouble?
Next Steps – Preparation: Spend a few days praying just Psalm 22.21-31, and let God’s vision for revival sink deeply into your soul..
T. M. Moore
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Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
The Joy of Jesus: Psalm 22.21-31
- T.M. Moore
- April 8, 2020
Look through troubled times to the coming of the Kingdom.
The Scope and Focus of Revival (2)