17 Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to wage war against the rest of her offspring—those who keep God’s commands and hold fast their testimony about Jesus. – Revelation 12: 17 NIV
We’ve been doing #Testimony Tuesday for a few months now but I know that some of you are still asking “But Why?”
“What are testimonies really? Why do we share them? Why is it important to our faith? Does it really matter anyways?“
Today, I want to answer those questions and I’d also like to invite you to share YOUR testimony.
What is a testimony?
Definition of testimony
1a: a solemn declaration usually made orally by a witness under oath in response to interrogation by a lawyer or authorized public official.
b: firsthand authentication of a fact : EVIDENCE
c: an outward sign
2a: an open acknowledgment.
b: a public profession of religious experience.
Now that we have the TECHINICAL definition from good old Merriam Webster out of the way, lets chat about that it means in Christian Terms.
A testimony is God’s Story in your life. It’s the answer to “ What has God been up to in your life?” It’s your personal evidence that God is real and active. Sometimes, our testimonies can be ginormous and life changing/saving. But there are also smaller ways that God works in your life daily that are a testimony to His grace, goodness and steadfastness.
Most of the testimonies on this site so far have been of the BIG and LIFE CHANGING variety. But some of them – like Faith’s – have been not as life changing but no less important. So when you think of testimonies, don’t just think about the GIANT super visible total 180 degree changes that happen when someone goes from prison to evangelist. Think about all the other things too. Like someone bringing you a meal when you really needed it. Or when you left the house a little bit late and missed the big accident on your way to work. Or even a little bigger – $100 showing up in your mailbox at Christmas time when you needed it.
OR MAYBE you were on the giving end of that $100. Maybe you felt God nudging you to give to someone at the grocery store but it seemed weird and you did it anyways and that person was overwhelmed with your generosity. Maybe you smiled at someone on the sidewalk and it made their whole day better. Or you prayed for someone who was telling you their problems. All of these things are testimonies of God’s goodness. Whether you are giving or receiving, these events all play a role in your relationship with Christ.
Why do we share them?
We share our testimonies to show others how God is moving and active in our lives. It is like standing before a judge and saying “ I know God is real because……”. You fill in that blank with how God has worked in your life. You are TESTIFYING to His LOVE, Grace, Mercy, etc. You are testifying that He is REAL . By sharing our testimonies we have the unique opportunity to encourage other Believers to notice the things God does in their lives. And to show non-Believers what they may see as a coincidence or Karma is actually God at work.
Why is it important to our faith?
Testimonies are important to our faith because they are EVIDENCE that God is real. They are a way for us to look at our lives and see what God has done for us. In 1 Samuel 7, Samuel sets up some rocks into a pile and declares that they are an Ebenezar – a monument to how God has helped him. They are a memorial to the TESTIMONY of Gods people. Every time someone walks by that stack of rocks, they will see it and remember what God has done for them.
12 Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen. He named it Ebenezer,[a] saying, “Thus far the Lord has helped us.” 1 Samuel 7:12 (NIV)
When we collect our testimonies and share them, its like setting up our own Ebenezar. People will see and remember what God has done. They show that God is faithful in all circumstances.
Does it really matter?
YES! It really matters that we share out testimonies with each other. In the good ties and bad, we need to be sharing.
Often times, in our trials and tribulations -we feel isolated and alone. That no one else in the world knows how we are feeling. Sometimes, we even feel unlovable – by our family and by God. But when you share your testimony – someone will read that and glean encouragement and hope from it. They will see that they are not alone in this bad thing they are in the midst of right now. Your testimony will show them that they are still loved.
In the good times, its just as important to share our testimonies because we can often overlook the blessings that are happening and write them off as *Good Luck* or a coincidence. But theres no such thing as coincidences or Good Luck. God has a purpose for everything. And when she share these testimonies with people, it allows us to more easily identify the amazing things God is doing EVERYDAY.
SOMETIMES- and this is my personal favorite – we can start seeing patterns in the things God is doing in our life. When we start seeing patterns and we maybe even see the same pattern in other peoples lives – it can be a signal that God is working on something BIG. It’s like a heads up to start praying about something super seriously and to get your friends involved too. Let me tell you an example.
A Shared Testimony
Last summer, I felt like God was preparing me for something big but I had no idea what it was. I could see Him doing things in. my life to make my faith in HIM stronger. I found myself being broken down in the best ways to see what my foundation was really built on. He was doing this in my marriage too. So many little things that felt like they were going to become one big testimony. I kept praying about it and kept seeing that I was supposed to be sharing something, somehow. But it would involve my voice and my creativity.
I chatted with one of my friends and she had been having the same things happening in her life. So we started praying for each other. She sent me a message one Saturday evening that said, ( essentially) “ I think we’re supposed to link arm and run together towards this ministry God is calling us to.“ I wasn’t so sure so I said I’d pray about it and let her know. Well you guys – the sign came to me LITERALLY the next morning when I got to church and our Music leader at church LITERALLY had a shirt on with one giant word on it RUN. It BLEW MY MIND because On the wash there I had said to Jacob, I wish God would just give me a sign, I’m so confused. Well, as I dont believe in coincidences, this was amazing. And it‘s a testimony to Gods faithfulness. And now we have this Ministry, this site you’re on right now is the thing that these small testimonies were leading to. THIS!
And you know what’s even more awesome? God was leading my friend into an amazing ministry of her own! She is helping all these women who have been called into ministry. She found a handful of women who were all called into the same thing, but separately – who needed guidance and direction and SHE IS DOING THAT! God did that! He called us into ministry and then blessed us with this amazing woman as a resource and guide. He is SO FAITHFUL.
So, what now?
What now? You may be asking. Well, a few things can happen now.
- I am asking you to start to notice the blessings in your life. Big or little, what are some things that God seems to be doing in your life?
- Write these things down. Keep a record of your testimonies.
- Ask the people around you what God is doing in their life. It is good to share.
- If you feel comfortable, I would love for you to share these testimonies with me. I love to see how God is working in our lives.
Can I pray for you?
Father God, I ask you to be with my friend – open their eyes to show them what you are up to in their life. Allow them to see things no longer as just coincidence but as something you’ve done to show them your glory. Father, you are good, you are steadfast and you deserve all of our praise. Thank you for loving us unconditionally. Amen.
Until Next Time,