“Other people are going to find healing in your wounds. Your greatest life messages and your most effective ministry will come out of your deepest hurts.”Pastor and Author, Rick Warren
In the last several weeks the “power of a testimony” has been a constant theme for me. It started when I wrote the post about Problems. Problems Everywhere. and got some feedback from a good friend of mine. She said that it felt like I was holding back a testimony or a personal story, which was true and I had my reasons. But this led me to write my next post, 5 Ways to Increase Your Hope, to go deeper into the message with personal experiences.
Because throughout these several weeks, I’ve had conversations that included testimonies of how God has been working in people’s lives. It was so encouraging and faith-building. Hearing them spurred me on to find “God’s fingerprints” in my life, and ultimately, to give God glory and praise!
Then on Easter Sunday, my pastor shared a very encouraging message about resurrection with a following video of three congregants sharing their testimonies. It was like a cherry on top of this constant theme that’s been prominent for me.
There is so much power in sharing your testimony. Not just how you came to faith in Jesus, but your everyday experiences with God after the fact. The little miracles that stand out to you can sometimes be the most transformative to another because it proves the life of Christ in yours.
But it’s not always easy to share a testimony, at least it isn’t always for me. I struggle with thoughts like, what if I discourage someone? What if they feel less than? What if this turns them away from God? What if it’s not enough about God? And these fears get me all tongue-tied and nervous to open about the miracles of God in my life.
As I meditated on this theme (or message), I came to the conviction that whenever fear is the motivating factor; the focus is on self. But the power of sharing your testimony releases you from self and helps you glorify God. When you testify, the Holy Spirit helps you point the glory to Jesus Christ. Testimonies set you apart because your reliance is on God and not on self. You step back and point to Jesus that only by His grace did anything even happen.
Testimonies. Testimonies Everywhere.
The fear of discouraging others, making them feel less than or compared to, or even being afraid of turning them away from God reveals a reliance on self. But God can use anything to reveal His glory to anyone so that they would encounter His presence and power. He’s not limited to our thoughts, doubts, and fears. Those things limit us from seeing God’s hand and miracles in our lives.
Throughout the Bible, we see testimonies everywhere.
When Jesus healed people, they testified of their healing and glorified God. When the two Mary’s came to Jesus’ tomb in Matthew 28, the angel told them to testify that Christ rose from the dead. After Paul encountered Jesus on the road to Damascus in Acts 9, he tied his testimony as he proclaimed the Gospel of Jesus Christ. When you see the miracles of God, your sharing of testimonies enhances and highlights the life and power of Christ flowing in and through you.
I knew this on the surface but didn’t fully grasp how powerfully God can move through testimonies. The fear of what others will think or feel or do is not up to us, it’s up to them. Our motive in sharing God-stories should always be to glorify Him, anyway!
Sharing testimonies is the opposite of discouraging people. It encourages, brings hope, and cheers up those who are disheartened. I often held back in saying something, especially when I saw someone going through a difficult time. But that’s why we have the Holy Spirit to help us. He leads us in those moments to say what we need to say.
As I mentioned in my previous posts, we’re all going through something, but that should never hold us back from testifying of God’s love, power, and truth in our lives. Hebrews 10:24-25 says to consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together… but encouraging one another.
Testimonies also build up faith, which is the opposite of fearing what others will think or feel. When you get built up faith, you get your confidence from God, and that’s never at the cost of yours or another person’s character. On the contrary, it reveals and builds up hope, love, and truth, because that’s the motive of God’s heart. When faith increases, you realize again that it’s not based on your own works, but according to God’s mercy and grace (Titus 3:5).
As faith gets built up, testimonies also motivate and spur people on to act! This is the opposite of turning others away from God. Paul wrote to the Ephesians to not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs. When you share testimonies about how God has or is moving in your life, you motivate others to trust, pursue, and even turn back to God. He can use your stories to build others up according to their needs.
Finally, our testimonies glorify God. They point to Jesus, His death, burial, and resurrection. And they reveal the power and evidence of God in and through our lives. Isaiah prophesied in chapter 48:10-11, that God does not and will not yield His glory to another. So, even if we tried to take the glory for ourselves, God could work through that and bring the glory back to Himself.
Conclusion: Let Me Testify
In sharing this revelation, I want to note that this isn’t about being careless in what you say and how often you share. But an encouragement to not hold back if you’re afraid of what others will think or say or do. The Holy Spirit is your guide and help to share what is necessary. He is also there to protect you and the ears of those who are listening. We must trust Him to do the revealing and leading into all truth.
The power of your testimony is about God’s work in your life. You are a direct witness of what He has done and does. As Paul said in 2 Corinthians, we are ambassadors for Christ, so let us testify of His life, death, and resurrection through our lives.
What is a recent story/testimony of God’s work in your life? Share in the comments below.
As always, thank you for reading and following my blog.