The poet’s proverb1 reminds us of the inevitability of disappointment and discomfort in our lives. Rain is his metaphor for all that keeps us from living in perpetual sunshine.
But to a parched people and a languishing landscape, the inevitability of rain reads more like a promise, or even a prophecy: “Into each life some rain must fall.”
Around the world, God’s people lift up hands to heaven to pray for promised latter rain. We do so with the holy boldness of believers confident that this is one plea heaven can’t refuse to answer: “Be glad then, you children of Zion, and rejoice in the Lord your God; for He has given you the former rain faithfully, and He will cause the rain to come down for you— the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month” (Joel 2:23).
This special edition of Adventist World is focused on a call to Seventh-day Adventists around the globe to open their lives to a new experience of revival and reformation. Unlike any other edition in the five-year history of this journal, this issue clusters readings and resources designed to call your attention to God’s desire to renew His people.
“God’s Promised Gift” (page 8) is a compelling call to personal and corporate revival unanimously voted by the delegates at October’s Annual Council meeting of the General Conference Executive Committee. Read it carefully—and prayerfully.
Gerald Klingbeil’s devotional, “The Nehemiah Story,” traces the narrative of one of the most important revivals in the history of Israel—with lessons for today.
“Why Not Now? Reflections on Revival” underscores the practical experiences and new attentiveness that will characterize any group of believers opening their lives to God’s latter rain power.
This month’s Spirit of Prophecy selection, “True Revival,” reminds us that the Word of God must be central to every genuine experience of renewal.
“Revival and Reformation Resources” offers readers a sampler of biblical material, devotional books, media materials, and Web sites that will call you and your congregation to prepare for the outpouring of Holy Spirit.
“Already Under Way,” an interview with a pastor whose church is currently experiencing revival, underlines the simple steps that draw congregations into a new awareness of God’s power.
And this month’s Fundamental Belief article, “Our Most Urgent Need,” reminds us that revival and reformation have one world-changing event in focus—the Second Coming of Christ.
Read this special edition when your heart is quiet and you have time to ponder and pray.
And get ready for the showers of blessing.
1 Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, “The Rainy Day.”
— Bill Knott
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