What can God’s people do to move the heart of the Lord in these perilous times? Is the church powerless to do anything? Are we to sit and wait for Christ’s return or are we called to take drastic action of some kind? When all around us the world is trembling, with men’s hearts failing them for fear, are we called to take up spiritual weapons and do battle with the adversary? Surely Christ’s followers have a role in these dark times, but what are we supposed to do? Are we to fall in line with the rest of the world, grabbing for our piece of the pie? No, never!
During the time of the prophet Joel, a day of darkness approached Israel such as had never been seen in history. The prophet even cried, “Alas for the Day! For the day of the Lord is at hand” (Joel 1:15). Joel’s counsel to Israel in that dark house was, “‘Now, therefore,’ says the Lord, ‘Turn to Me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning … Return to the Lord your God, for He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness’” (Joel 2:12-13).
Here was God’s call to the church: “Don’t be discouraged or give in to despair. You are not to believe the devil’s lies that there is no hope.” Instead, according to Joel, the people’s cry to the Lord was to be, “Lord, stop this reproach on your name. Don’t let your church be mocked any longer.” And the Lord replied, “Even now, when you have pushed me out of your society and mercy seems impossible, when humankind has mocked my warnings and fear and gloom are covering the land — even now, I urge you to come back to me and show the world my mercy.”
Satan wants the church to think there is no hope but God comes to us through this word from Joel: “There is hope and mercy — even now. I am kind and slow to anger and now is the time for you to turn to me in prayer.”
It is time to turn to the Lord in prayer as never before!