Sharing our testimony of the good that God has done in our lives strengthens our own faith and builds others’ faith as well.
A few days ago, I received one of the most incredible messages I’ve ever seen. It was a testimony from a young man I had prayed for back in the spring. It read: “Hey Mrs. Hope, my name is Jacob.* You may not remember me, but a few months ago you gave me a ride and money for gas. You gave me your card with your cell number on the back and I just stumbled across it tucked away in my wallet. At the time I was a heroin addict, the kind of person most people avoid like the plague. You were the complete opposite, and showed nothing but genuine care and kindness towards me. I have turned my life around completely and now have a close relationship with Jesus Christ. I don’t know if I thanked you that day, but I’d like to take the chance now to tell you how appreciative I was and still am. You are a powerful woman and I hope you are doing well because you absolutely deserve it. I hope you have a blessed day.”
Come and hear, all ye that fear God, and I will declare what he hath done for my soul.
Can I just take a moment to say….
“Praise God! Hallelujah!! Thank You Jesus!!! What a mighty God we serve!” When I read this message, I was speechless. Overwhelmed by the grace and mercy of God, I was in tears. I felt so grateful that the Lord allowed me to be part of an intense change in this young man’s life. What a blessing to witness a glimpse of the mighty work He’s doing to change Jacob’s direction–from a crash course with death to a renewed sense of life to the full!
When I wrote about my encounter with Jacob in a previous piece, I had no idea whether I’d hear from Jacob again. When I gave him my card, I was simply offering for him to reach back out if he needed help, prayer, etc. I did not expect to receive a text two months later with a testimony of how he had overcome his heroin addiction and rededicated his life to Jesus! When I was praying for Jacob, I felt a strong release of power from the Holy Spirit. So, I believed something shifted for him spiritually. But when I left him, the only assurance I had that he would kick his addiction was my own faith that the Lord would do a work in his life.
Testimonies build our faith…
I’m so thankful Jacob shared his testimony with me because it confirmed what I’d been believing for him in faith. You see, the Lord has set this whole thing up so beautifully! He wants us to have faith in Him. To believe that He will carry through on the promises He has made for our lives. But He also knows, that to truly believe, we need to experience His goodness firsthand. For ourselves. And when He answers our specific prayers, He knows we’ll be so blown away by what He has done, that we will praise His name. That we’ll testify of His goodness to others.
This is what happened with the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well. When she encountered Jesus, He offered her living water. He told her he knew that she had had five husbands, but He did not judge her. Rather, He invited her to a new way, to a new life filled with His living water. The woman accepted Jesus’ offer, left her water pail, and ran back to Samaria. There, she told everyone who Jesus was and what He had done for her. The result:
And many of the Samaritans of that city believed on him for the saying of the woman, which testified, He told me all that ever I did.
Salvations and strengthened faith resulted from the Samaritan woman’s testimony. These are the kinds of things that can happen when we testify of God’s goodness and mercy in our lives.
Sharing my testimony…
When I was in my Jeep with Jacob, he was at the end of himself. Out of gas. Strung out on heroin. Out of hope. And I knew what that felt like. Before we pulled over to pray, I shared my testimony of what the Lord had done for me. I told Jacob how a number of years ago, I had been suicidal and was driving 90 mph down the interstate. I admitted that I’d been trying to figure out how to wreck my car in a way that didn’t hurt anyone else and looked like an accident. How I was crying out to the Lord and telling Him that I was done. That the depression was too much for me to take anymore. I was begging Him to show me what my purpose was, or it was all over!
And then I shared how that little beater car had the audacity to pull right in front of me going 60mph. How I had to slam on my brakes not to hit the car. Then, the license plate that read: “SongTree.” The word seemed odd to me, and I asked myself, ‘What the heck does that mean?’ And right then, the Holy Spirit asked me a question in my spirit, “What do a song and a tree need?” And I knew the answer. A songbird. I knew that He was confirming my purpose. To be His Songbird of Hope. To sing and write and praise Him all my days. Precisely when I needed a specific answer from the Lord, moreso than ever before in my life, He answered me. Me. His answer shocked me back to life, rang clear and true all the way through my spirit, and still reverberates as I write this.
A testimony of his own…
I knew that my testimony had struck a deep chord with Jacob because he began weeping as I was speaking. When I offered to pray with him, he was not even able to say yes, but he was nodding his head forward and back over and over again. And when we prayed, the God whose goodness I was testifying of, touched Jacob personally. And now Jacob has a powerful testimony of his own. The Lord has freed him of addiction to heroin–one of the most lethal drugs known to man!
Friends, there is power in sharing our full testimonies. And not just the pretty parts where it’s all wrapped up in a bow. Because there are ugly parts too. We need to be honest about the wrecks we were before the Lord saved us. We have to be willing to share the hard truth that we did not do everything perfectly. That our faith was barely the size of that proverbial mustard seed. That we were literally helpless and hopeless without the Lord. Beloved, we need to share the good, the bad, and the ugly because our honesty and vulnerability shows our need for a savior who truly saves us.
And our testimony is even greater when we acknowledge that what the Lord has done for us is not because we were the strongest, most faith-filled, perfect people to ever approach His throne. He answers our prayers and blesses us because He is a good God who loves and cares for us. And when we turn our lives over to His grace, He will move mightily on our behalf.
How we defeat the enemy…
Rest assured, when the Lord does a work in our lives, the devil is right there trying to sabotage the good that God is doing. But Jesus has provided His blood and the power of our testimony to ward off attacks from the enemy. So, let’s wield our shields and our weapons well and testify to the goodness of God in our lives.
And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.
How has the Lord built your faith with a testimony? Have you shared it?