Part of the work of reformation is God making us realize that we are not up for the task. Part of the work of revival is God making sure we see that we are not qualified, we are not equipped, that we do not have what it takes to accomplish what He has commanded. This is because that both in reformation, something we desperately need today, and in revival, God has to reveal to us and convict us of our sins of self-righteousness, self-ability, and self-absorption. He has to turn us away from ourselves again and point us to Jesus Christ – high and lifted up – high and lifted up on the cross for our sins – and high and lifted up at the right hand of the Father as the Savior and King of the world.
The church has become far too much like Judah in the days of Nehemiah who said, “The strength of the laborers is failing, and there is so much rubbish that we are not able to build the wall.” (Neh 4:10). Attacks from the enemy outside are one thing. Discouragement from within is often more destructive. But as I said, this is often the very purpose of God. He wants us to see that without Him, we cannot do anything. We cannot succeed. We will fail.
And then He speaks. Then the wind is calmed, the rock is split apart, the fish vomits, the tomb is opened. Our God is the God Who raises the dead. Our God is the One who calls things to be which are not. Our God is the cliffhanger storyteller. Our God is the great knot untangler. Outside of Christ, we can do nothing. In Christ, we can do all things. We can endure all things because we know that through all things He is victorious – He is perfectly accomplishing all that He intends. We cannot see what that is most of the time – and this is why it is called faith.
Maybe it is not the church generally that you are discouraged about. Maybe it is your marriage, your family, your health, your battles with temptations, your finances. You are tempted to think God cannot make right on this anymore – it’s too big, too late, too tangled, too much rubble. “Perfect,” God says, “come and worship at my temple and watch what I am about to do.” Come and worship God.