Over cups of tea a story of a mountain conquered, a battle won is shared. And as it was quietly told, strength was given and the words “me too” exhaled. Faith is often time fought for in secret, in the quiet. But personal battles, personal victories can give strength and hope to others. Testimonies of God moving in one person’s life become beacons of hope and assurance for another. For in the testimony is the spirit of prophecy. That God is able to do for one what He does for another.
Words of faith spoken. And in agreement the Amen said.
Never underestimate the power of your story, of your battles fought and won, of your stories of God answering prayers. They could be the beacon of light to a soul weary from their hard climb.
“At the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember them.”
Anzac Day 2015.
Across our land today people gathered together to the sound of the last bugle, to the roar of wartime planes flying overhead and canons firing in salute, to the minute’s silence. We gathered to remember all those who fought in wars on our Nation’s behalf. To remember especially the fallen – those that did not come home. 100 years may have passed since the day Australian and New Zealand troops arrived on Gallipoli’s shores, but time has not dimmed our commitment to remembering and honouring the soldiers.
We remember in the hope that such tragedy will never be repeated. We remember to honour the sacrifice as thousands laid down their lives for the freedom and life we walk in today. We remember the brave, the courageous. We remember because it is our history. It is our Grandfathers and Great Grandfathers that crossed the thousands of miles of sea to fight on foreign soil.
Remembering is important. To remember where we have come from and what has shaped us – personally and as nations. In the same way, God taught the Israelitise to remember the victories, the breakthroughs that God brought them. Remembering what God had done would strengthen them for future battles. It would encourage their faith and remind them again of God’s nature and ways. It is the same for us – as we read in the Bible the stories of God’s provision, protection and breakthroughs, as we hear the testimonies of others today we can be encouraged that God will do the same again. Testimonies of God connect generations, they connect us to His promises.
“The testimonies of God are the tools that equip us to walk in our purpose to demonstrate what He is like through the miraculous. First, they reveal the nature of God an how H does things – His ways. Secondly, this awareness of who God is creates an expectation in our hearts for God’s ways to be manifest in our lives.” (Bill Johnson)
“I have inherited Your testimonies forever, for they are the joy of my heart.” (Psalm 119:111)
Lest we forget.
A gathering. Laughter. Life. Love. Fluffy and light scones, jam and cream, tea – yes Devonshire tea. Daughters and Granddaughters together to remember a Mother, a grandmother. Much loved. Much missed. She would have loved it. Not just for the tea in the fine bone china cups but for the connection, the conversation, the sense of occasion.
Remembering is such an important part of life. To remember and to celebrate the good – the anniversaries, the milestones. And yes to remember those that are no longer with us. We do it as individuals, families and nations. We remember the victories, the accomplishments and the significant.
It is a habit that God encouraged His people to do. To create memorial stones at places of breakthrough and victory so that generations later would pause and remember what God had done. Seen at the place where they crossed the Jordon river. He created Feast days, so that His people would also remember and celebrate the victories. An opportunity to celebrate the victories of the past giving strength for the present and hope for the future.
It is good for us to pause and remember the testimonies of what God has done for us. The healings, the answered prayers, the breakthroughs. By doing this we continue to be more aware of God in our lives. We become more aware of His presence and nature. Remembering our testimonies stirs our hope and strengthen our spirit to keep on, knowing that our God never changes and is true to His promises. It keeps our expectation and our faith high.
“I have inherited your testimonies forever, for they are the joy of my heart.” (Psalm 119:111)
It is not often that I get to hail a London Cab and say “Heathrow Airport” please. But a few years ago, I was in London for work, and I got to do just that. My bags were loaded into the iconic cab and I settled back for the journey to Heathrow.
My cab driver, as it turned out, was rather chatty on the 40 minute ride to the airport. And after the preliminary small talk about where I was from, and where I was heading, he then shared with me his testimony.
Not knowing whether I was a Christian or not, he shared how on one such Airport run, he happened to comment to the passenger about the weight of her suitcase. To which she replied, it was full of books – Bibles in fact. She was a missionary off to Asia. They talked, and she shared her faith and why she had felt led to be a missionary, and he shared his doubts on God. On arrival at Heathrow, she opened her suitcase and gave him one of the Bibles and departed.
In his words, while waiting for the next fare ride, he decided to read a bit of the Bible, for the lack of any other alternative, he ended up reading the Gospel of John. By the end of the Gospel, he was in tears, in his cab, as he encountered the love of God for him. And right there, right then, he became a Christian.
I wonder if the Missionary ever found out, that before she had even stepped foot on the land she was called to, before she had even boarded the plane that was to take her there, she had already made an impact on the world and pointed someone towards home, towards God.
That’s the thing when we share our faith, when we testify to the goodness of God, we don’t always get to see if our words have made a difference. We don’t always get to hear that our words put someone on a path to salvation. The important thing though, is despite the lack of “feedback” ,that we do continue to share, that we do testify. You never know the impact your testimony, your words can have.
There’s someone out there, on the other side of the world to me, driving a cab, sharing his testimony. And who knows how many passengers have been impacted by what he says. I sat in the back of the black cab that day, my mind less on the deal I was working on, and more on the unknown missionary who had made a difference in this driver’s life.
You just never know.
We need to turn up the volume of the testimonies in our lives and in the lives of others.
Reminding ourselves of our testimonies stirs our faith. It reminds us that God has provided for us, answered our prayer, healed us. When we are feeling discouraged or up against a wall, remembering the testimonies strengthens us.
Listening to the testimony of others encourages us that God can do it again. There is power in the testimony. The Hebrew root for “testimony” means “do again”. Every record of what God has done in the Bible, for others is a promise that He can do it again for us. Because He is the same yesterday, today and forever. He is no respecter of persons.
God who promises to provide, who has provided for us, will provide again. Testimonies like this mean that we should and can look on our natural situations with a God perspective. We need to REMEMBER them, celebrate them.
“Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise His holy name. Praise the Lord, my soul; and forget not all His benefits.” (Psalm 103:1-2)