Part 1: Is There Hope for a Christ Awakening in America in 2016?
First of a Four-Part Series
As for you, because of the blood of my covenant with you,
I will free your prisoners from the waterless pit.
Return to your fortress, you prisoners of hope;
even now I announce that
I will restore twice as much to you.
Turbulence…straight ahead! Political, economic, racial, moral, domestic, environmental, presidential, theological, ideological, international.
You name it. Directly or indirectly, 2016 will be a year full of turbulence.
At such a moment as this, some may wonder, “How can the question you raise in your title even be relevant?”
Actually, no issue could be more relevant! Unhesitatingly and unequivocally, I can say that for me the answer to the title question calls for one simple response.
Is there hope for a Christ Awakening in America in 2016?
In this series of four blogs I want to tell you why I must ask this question, why I’m so confident of the answer, and what this could mean for all of us as we traverse the coming year together.
The God Who Offers a Certain Kind of Hope
From beginning to end, our God is a God of hope. “May the God of hope [that’s his name!] fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Christ, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Romans 15:13; emphasis added).
We might say it like this: Our God holds lots of promises up his sleeves. And he has big sleeves!
In both Testaments, however, his promises focus primarily on a certain kind of hope. God offers his people the hope of new beginnings, including entire seasons of renewal, especially for those who feel as if they are merely surviving in “waterless pits” (to use Zechariah’s vivid metaphor in the opening Scripture above).
To such ones as these God promises restoration—in abundance. He intends to restore, the prophet says, “twice as much” of anything we may have forfeited.
Here’s the Great “Good” in the Good News
In fact, the “good” proclaimed in the truly good news about Christ flows not only from his incarnation, crucifixion, and resurrection, but also from his ascension.
The moment he took his place as supreme Son on the throne of his Father’s kingdom all the promises of God were inherited by the Son. Exclusively. Permanently.
In other words, the promises all point to him, are embodied in him, and can be fulfilled only in him—preeminently for the purpose of exalting him.
But—and this is the source of such great joy for all of Jesus’ followers—because we fully belong to him, the Father pronounces a cosmic “Yes” over our lives and our churches regarding the most intimate as well as the most profound implications of every promise encompassed by our King (see 2 Corinthians 1:19-20).
They are his, but they have become ours, because we are his. Read that sentence again.
Especially that vast array of God’s pledges regarding every facet of our reclamation in Christ is ours!
Thus, forever he remains the God of the hope of replenishment. Of revitalization. Of renovation. Of resurrection! But all of it is in and only in Christ Jesus.
The One Certainty in the Midst of Today’s Turbulences
Therefore, we can be absolutely certain that in 2016 the Holy Spirit desires nothing higher than to take believers where we have never gone before with our Savior. He wants to transform us, individually and collectively, into (again borrowing from Zechariah 9) “prisoners of hope“—that is, into people so captivated and compelled by our hope in Christ that we’re able to weather any turbulence ahead of us.
I’m talking about a hope of God’s Spirit that invites us into a ministry in which he uses God’s word to reintroduce us to God’s Son for ALL he is—which includes every promise in Jesus for which Jesus redeemed us.
I’m talking about the kind of hope we might crystallize with the increasingly popular term “Christ Awakening.” The fact is, a premiere blessing received when any promise of God is fulfilled in Christ is the reawakening of God’s people to more of the fullness of Christ.
Consequently, we should be eager to enter this new year defying the din of the world’s taunts while anticipating a rousing, heaven-initiated reconnection and reengagement with the reign of our Lord—unleashed among believers everywhere.
At the same time we should boldly proclaim to one another the hope of this Christ Awakening, stirring up one another to prepare for it without reserve and with full resolve.
Because we do need to get ready for it…right now. In 2016.
Do you not hear him? At this hour all through the body of Christ the Holy Spirit is amplifying one overarching prospect: “And the secret [of the Gospel message] is simply this: Christ in you! Yes, Christ is in you bringing with him the hope of all glorious things to come.” (Colossians 1:27, Phillips; emphasis added).
How can we respond to this reality by seeking God for anything less than a shaking and waking of the Church to the supremacy of Christ and to the grand purposes before us in him?
Do we not realize that already such a spiritual revolution is impending? That it is bearing down on top of us? That currently there is nothing that the Father deserves, desires, designs, or decrees more than this? That, in fact, he is able, willing, and ready to do so?
These are important questions, and there are others to go with them. They form the focus of my next blog.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: David Bryant
Known as a proclaimer of Christ and Messenger of Hope, David Bryant is the founder and president of Proclaim Hope!, a ministry whose goal is to serve a nationwide Christ Awakening. David is the author of five books, including Christ Is ALL! Join in the Joyful Awakening to the Supremacy of God’s Son.