Tuesday, December 9, 2014

The Power of a Testimony

This last month was tragic in the small community that is home to our church. 3 teen suicides occurred in 3 weeks, with a fourth in the last year.  

We never really know how to pray in painful situations, do we? We must rely on the Holy Spirit and His promoting to utter anything reasonable at all. Otherwise, our prayers come out as sorrowful blubbering. At least mine do.

As I prayed for the families of the victims, I asked God to give me words to pray for the mommas who could never again hold their children. The testimony of another mom came to mind.

Nearly 20 years ago, a woman named Debbie shared that her young adult son had been killed in an accident.  At that time, she knew virtually nothing about Jesus Christ, yet as she mourned, she felt the Lord’s presence surround her. She felt these words spoken into the depths of her grief: 

“You are not alone. I am with you.”

Debbie came face to face with Christ who would soon become her Lord and Savior. I remember how boldly she shared her story and the tears that welled in my eyes as she spoke. I remember the wonder I felt toward a God who cared enough to personally offer comfort. 

Her testimony touched me so deeply it comes to mind often even after the passing of so many years. When I pray for those who grieve, I regularly ask the Lord to let them know that they are not alone, recalling Debbie’s story as a beautiful example.  

A testimony is a powerful tool that draws its hearers through compelling eyewitness accounts. When we share what we personally saw, felt, and experienced, very few people would find themselves bold enough to dispute our story. Others may doubt, but they cannot reasonably deny the occurrence of the events. They listen. They consider. And the story sticks, whether or not they admit it.

The holidays are a difficult time of year for many people who may not disclose the depth of their despair. They may not share their pain, but they watch those around them more closely. They’re sometimes more willing to listen and take part in spiritual conversations. 

A coffee break with a co-worker may suddenly transform into an opportunity to share the hope that we, as Christ followers, profess. 

A carpool with the neighbors’ kids may provide a great opening to talk about reasons for joy. 

It may stir questions and longing when we use phrases like, “we are never alone,” and “there is no need to fear.” 

The world is searching for true, Holy Spirit-supplied peace and joy that truly satisfy. When they see it in others, they will want to know how to get it. 

We are called to preparedness. 1 Peter 3:15 tells us to “Always be ready to give a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you.”  Are you ready to give an account for that hope with gentleness and reverence?

How would you respond if a friend asked, “where do you find your joy?” Knowing your own story and practicing its delivery go a long way toward preparation.  Think through the details of your personal testimony and say it aloud a few times.  Be ready to provide a reason for the hope that is in you.  We never know when the Lord will choose to encourage others through our testimony.

God is sure to accomplish His purpose through our stories and will work through our willingness to share. 

Your Turn:

When have you heard a testimony that is unforgettable? 

When have you shared your own testimony and received encouragement from others?

Be Strengthened Today, by His Word,
Psalm 119:28


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