Devotional by Brian Chilton
Solomon Stoddard lost many of his family members during an attack on Deerfield, Massachusetts in 1704 by Indian warriors. After being kidnapped, his daughter Eunice was killed by a single hatchet blow to the head. Yet when the Holy Spirit moved which led to a revival in his area, Solomon Stoddard and his son-in-law William Williams expressed concern for the Indians' well-being and their relationship with Christ. They reached out to them in love during their revival campaigns. Later, his grandson, Jonathan Edwards would concentrate his ministry to the Mohegan Indians in his area, even promoting proper education for the Indians, hearing their concerns, and earning their trust.
When asked about how often a person should forgive his or her brother or sister, Jesus replied, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven” (Matt. 18:22, ESV). Forgiveness is not easy. Forgiveness does not mean that you should become another person’s doormat. Rather, forgiveness is the means by which we turn bad experiences and people who have hurt us over to God. We entrust him to work something good out of the bad we encounter.
When a person entrusts oneself to God, remarkable things can happen. Jonathan Edwards was one of the major players in the Great Awakening of the 1700s, one of the largest revivals our nation has ever seen. God only brings revival through great prayer and righteousness. Are we being the righteous catalysts that will see another revival of this magnitude? One thing’s for sure, grudges and bitterness are surefire ways to dampen a spirit of revival. A forgiving heart is necessary to see the revival fires begin to burn. I’m not sure about you, but I would love to see another revival as was seen in the Great Awakening.