Revived by the Word

Freya Galindo Guevara

Over the course of our lives, we have all had to go through various situations that have left us feeling discouraged or defeated.  They made us feel beaten down, afflicted or worried.  Maybe we felt weakened, powerless, or like we had lost all our energy.  Many times instead of drawing close to God, we drift further and further away until we end up losing our focus.

To be revived means to give vitality or strength to a person who is weak, or to something that has lost energy. The opposite of reviving is to discourage.

Psalm 119 is well-known for being the longest chapter in the Bible.  There are many things one could say about this psalm: it is divided into 22 sections (8 verses each) that are each identified by a letter from the Hebrew alphabet.   Throughout the passage there are several terms the writer uses as synonyms for the law of God (word, commands, statutes, judgments, precepts, testimonies).  The psalmist makes comparisons between walking in God’s commands and walking in the natural ways of humanity.  The psalm also has many praises for the Word of God. These are only a few of the elements of Psalm 119.

The first time we find the word REVIVE (taken from the New American Standard Bible) is in verse 25, which says: “My soul cleaves to the dust; Revive me according to your word.” The word “revive” reappears nine more times through the rest of the Psalm.  Other English translations use the word “preserve” or forms of the phrase “give life.” In the NASB, the word “revive” appears 27 times, and 10 of them are in this single psalm!


Maybe “reviving” is not a verb we use frequently when we refer to the scripture.  And that made me think: we know the Bible is our instructional guide, our map and our light. But how many times do we proclaim that the Bible has the capability to REVIVE?

If we are discouraged, afflicted, or dejected, if we feel we do not have enough strength or we are weak, do we immediately draw close to the Bible so that God, through his Word, can give us strength, vitality and energy?  Maybe we do seek the Bible, but not immediately.  Nevertheless, God’s word is the answer! The way the Lord can revive us is if we search for him in his own Word: “I will never forget your precepts, for by them you have revived me” (Ps. 119:93).

The next time you feel discouraged, open your Bible! The words captured there can encourage you and absolutely revive you!

Fear…and Popcorn

By Cathy Spangler

“God has not given you a spirit of fear, but of power and love and a sound mind” (2 Tim. 1:7).

Fear is a pretty built-in thing.  We teach our kids to “fear” a hot stove or traffic.  Fear protects us from danger sometimes; in other words, it’s quite often healthy to be afraid.

So why does the Bible say, “Fear not” a jillion times?

Moments ago, I let my horse, Popcorn, out to pasture.  When I opened the gate, he looked at me like I was threatening him.  He snorted and backed up.  I realized then that my jacket was flopping in the wind and it was scaring him.  None of the other horses even noticed my jacket…they were just excited at the freedom of getting out.  After I softly encouraged him, my horse finally got the nerve to pass me and gallop away as fast as he could.

Popcorn is a 21-year old quarter horse gelding that I bought about 6 years ago.  He had “trust” issues when I first started riding him; he was always scared of something.  Once when my husband and I were on a trail ride, an automatic sprinkler came on near us – the kind that goes back and forth.  Popcorn was terrified and spun in a circle because I would not let him run away.  He tripped, fell, and pinned my leg under him.


After an overnight hospital stay, I recovered.  But I realized that now I also had a problem with fear.  When I rode Popcorn and he got scared, I became scared, too.  A year later, Popcorn got spooked and fell down with me again!  I wasn’t hurt this time, but fear was something I had to master to even get on him. 

When I brought this whole issue to the LORD, He pointed out that my fear was not just relegated to riding Popcorn.  In fact, my fear was keeping Him from using me in different areas of my life.

I’m afraid to drive in cities.

I’m afraid I won’t be liked or effective.

I’m afraid to get up in front of people.

I’m afraid of conflict or confrontation.

It seemed like God was saying, “I tell you to ‘fear not’ because fear comes between us.  Your fear needs to be replaced by trust quickly or this spirit of fear will get a foothold.  It is robbing you of your power, your love, and your sound mind!  Get rid of your fear by stirring up your faith!”

Because of his continued fear, I can no longer ride Popcorn.  It is so disappointing!  That horse is a beautiful, sweet, little guy that I cannot use at all.  May it never be said of me that God loves me, but He can’t use me because of my overwhelming fear.  No – I’m repenting and renouncing my fears.  I am replacing fear with faith, and saying to myself every day, “I DO NOT HAVE a spirit of fear, but of POWER, LOVE and a SOUND MIND!”   

How about you?