THE VALUE OF YOUR TESTIMONY
“. . . The accuser of our brothers, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down. They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony. . .”
I have often quoted the line from the Andre Crouch song, Through it All, that says: “If I’d never had a problem, I wouldn’t know that He could solve them; I’d never know what faith in God could do.” It is a simple thought at first glance but, the more you think about it, the more profound it becomes. The idea isn’t that God causes our problems; the fallen world we live in takes care of that. And sometimes we make them ourselves. The idea is that God uses those difficult times, those hurts, and those disappointments to strengthen us, to glorify His name, and to show us His power.
In the passage from Revelation quoted above we see that the enemy of God’s people has been overcome. How? First, “by the blood of the Lamb.” Apart from the atoning, saving, and sanctifying work of Jesus there is no victory. Secondly, it says “by the word of their testimony.” I need to remind you that Christ Himself is the hero of every Christian testimony. We have problems. He solves them. We have needs. He meets them. We have hurts. He heals them and brings comfort and peace. We are broken. He makes us whole. This is good news: We aren’t the solution to our troubles. We aren’t expected to be the heroes. Christ is our solution. As we come to Him in faith we find Him faithful and able and willing. The psalmist wrote: “This poor man called, and the LORD heard him; he saved him out of all his troubles” (Ps. 34:6) and “My soul will boast in the LORD; let the afflicted hear and rejoice” (Ps. 34:2).
When we see the power and the compassion of God manifested in our own lives at our point of need, and then we tell others what Christ has done for us, we are testifying on the side of faith. “Come and listen, all you who fear God” the Psalmist writes, “let me tell you what he has done for me” (Ps. 66:16).
Listen, our God doesn’t waste anything in our lives. If we have eyes to see, He will show us His hand in every situation, even the ones that hurt.
Here are some points I ran across and can share with you about how God uses our troubles. Sorry, I don’t know the original author . . .
1. God uses your problems to DIRECT you.
Problems often point us in a new direction and motivate us to change. Sometimes it takes a painful situation to make us change our ways.
2. God uses your problems to INSPECT you.
God sometimes uses stress to test and prove (or improve) your faith. Someone said: “People are like tea bags… you don’t know what’s inside them until you drop them into hot ever water!”
3. God uses your problems to CORRECT you.
Sometimes we only learn the value of something… health, money, a relationship... by losing it. It’s likely that, as a child, your parents told you not to touch a hot stove. But you probably learned by being burned.
4. God uses your problems to PROTECT you.
We all remember Joseph who, after being sold into slavery, thrown into prison, and suffing many hardships because of his own brother’s hatred, said to them: “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good…” Problems can be blessings in disguise if they prevent you from being harmed by something more serious.
5. God uses your problems to PERFECT you.
God is far more interested in your character than your comfort. Problems, when responded to correctly, are character builders. Your relationship to God and your character are the only two things you’re going to take with you into eternity.
--- Pastor Keith Andrews