I am an unrealistic optimist and intend to stay that way! As John Acuff used to say, “I’ve read the end of the book! We win!”

“Darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the LORD rises upon you and his glory appears over you,” Isaiah said to Israel over 2700 years ago (Isa. 60:2). Isaiah not only saw conditions arising in his day, but he was peering into the future when the deepest darkness of all time would engulf the earth, but the people of God would shine like the stars of the heavens (see Daniel 12:3, 10 and Matthew 13:43) in the midst of the wickedness.

The day Isaiah predicted is upon us. Juergen Buehler, Executive Director of International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem, recently wrote an article that speaks of some of the light shining through the darkness of the Arab world:

“Some 70,000 Egyptian Christians gathered recently for a joyous outdoor worship service… Iran’s underground churches are currently experiencing an annual growth of 20% – the highest rate worldwide, followed by Afghanistan at 16%… An Algerian pastor… reports that today the Evangelical churches in his country can claim more than 200,000 members… Libya also holds surprises… the spiritual climate in Libya has changed significantly since Ghadaffi’s fall… not enough Bibles for those seeking them… A Moroccan Church is emerging and accelerating in growth and maturity… New believers [in Tunisia] have increased and new church groups have come into being over the past few years… In Jordan, the evangelical Church is experiencing encouraging growth, doubling from 1995 to 2010… Similar reports are emerging from Syria and Lebanon… One of the most sustained revivals is taking place in Indonesia which has the world’s largest Muslim population but is now around 30% Christian…”

Paul foresaw our day. “How much greater riches [for the whole world] will their [Israel’s] fullness bring” (Rom. 11:12). More Jewish people have come to faith in the last few years than in all the centuries previous. The “greater riches” world revival is increasing.

Look beyond the darkness. Look at the light. Pray in the salvation and transformation of Israel and the nations. Agree with God’s purposes for our day. Do not be discouraged. Be filled with hope.

Don Finto