In Christian history, no phenomenon is more clear than the recurrence of revivals. At times, a passion for repentance sweeps across specific geographical areas. Many people who had been unaware of the supernatural become keenly aware of it. They are stopped during their jobs as their minds are gripped by a terror of wrongdoing and a fear of coming judgment. Throwing all else aside, they desperately search for a way of salvation. Having started, these movements spread like wildfire and are seemingly carried in the air. Breaking out in unexpected places, they produce a strange phenomenon and awaken forces that have lain dormant. Mostly, these movements are contained in a local geographic area, but they can spread throughout nations, with incredible results.
Since revivals are a major characteristic of Christianity, a study of church growth and survival would be worthless if it ignored the impact of revivals. In light of this, we cannot regard revivals as isolated incidents. To interpret the mind and will of God in relation to humanity, we need to look at the permanent elements of human nature and the underlying laws which shape human history. Such movements witness to us the supremacy of spiritual forces. They reveal the spiritual instincts in humankind that are often clouded by less worthwhile pursuits. They encourage faith by showing God's hand in history and in His guidance of the Church. These movements prove that God is working through His laws, for the salvation of His people and for the world's good.
In a revival, a few, then dozens, then thousands say with David:
"Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You will revive me" (Psalm 138:7, NKJV).