In today’s world, there seems to be so little faith. In fact, it always seems that you have to have a defense for everything when it comes to what you believe, especially for those who believe in God’s Word. The reason is that faith is seemingly absent. The Bible is the inerrant Word of God. 2 Timothy 3:16 states that, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correction, and training in righteousness”. There’s no denying that, but I’ve always been one of those people who have trouble coming up with adequate defenses to everything. Some things for me come down to a simple word – faith.
Faith is such a simple word that packs a huge punch. As we continue our series, “My Testimony,” I wanted to share my story…my testimony…to encourage your faith today and to challenge you to share your testimony. Testimonies are extremely powerful. In fact, Christians can arm themselves with their testimonies in order to spread the Gospel because it can never be refuted, challenged, or dismissed. Oftentimes, it is the key that opens the door for you to lead others to Christ. When people ask me why I am a Christian, I simply share just how good God has been to me in my life. Simply put, I share my story. You see, when I was a little girl, I was born into the second poorest city in the nation. I was raised by a single mom, who worked hard, but after all the bills were paid, only had about twenty dollars to live off a week. I remember watching my mom make hard decisions and trust the Lord to provide. I remember sharing meals together not knowing where our next meal would come. For me, I have always been able to see God as provider because I can recall the times He really came through for us, such as when we prayed for food and someone would show up at our door with food. I remember waking up one morning to go to school and my mom’s car would not start. She didn’t have the money to get it fixed but without it couldn’t get to work. I told her it was okay and that we could just lay hands on the car and God would heal it. She confessed later to me that she thought I was crazy! But we prayed over that silly car and it started!
Yet, this wasn’t the first time God had done this in my life. When I was about five years old, my kidneys were failing. I had been to every single local doctor and even had to go to see a specialist at Chapel Hill. One Sunday night before the trip up to Chapel Hill, I asked the church to pray for me. At the end of the prayer, the Pastor looked at me and said that he thought the doctor was going to inspect me and find nothing wrong. When I eventually arrived at the doctor’s office, in the middle of the procedure, the doctor stopped and reviewed the lab reports, the x-rays, and the prior notes. He was completely astonished and perplexed that inside of me was a perfectly, working kidney. It was as if it wasn’t even the same one! His exact words were, “I find nothing wrong”. He stood there dumbfounded but I was confident in knowing that it was my God who had come through. Why? Because He is our provided, our healer, our strong tower. He took care of me. The doctor declared it a medical miracle.
No matter the season in my life, God has always gone before me and provided. When my husband and I first got married, we purchased a house and shortly after were forced to buy a new car. We had just started our jobs and were barely making ends meet. There was one month where my car had needed a lot of repairs and there was barely any money left over. I told the Lord that we needed Him desperately. I prayed what some would think a silly prayer, but I asked Him to not let us run out of gas until the end of the month. That gas lasted until the end of the month. When we went through a job loss, somehow our savings doubled. No matter what we faced, God was there to protect and provide. It wasn’t always in the way that I wanted or expected, but it was always just what we needed. Isn’t that a message itself? God doesn’t always give us what we want, but what we need! His ways and thoughts are higher!
Perhaps the greatest testimony of the goodness and graciousness of God came for me at the age of 28. I found 3 large lumps under my right arm. They were painful and the doctors were unsure of what was going on. I was no stranger to the doctor after I had spent the past eight years battling with an autoimmune disease called Lupus. After what seemed like test after test, I ended up with a great doctor at Gibbs Cancer Center. She said I had precancerous tissue in my left breast that, if untreated, could have quickly become fully blown cancer. Here’s the good part. The only reason we caught it this quickly was because Lupus and its inflammatory reaction. This autoimmune disease that had plagued me for years and has caused tremendous pain ended up perhaps saving my life. It’s a reminder that what the enemy means for our harm, God can turn it around for our good. Not only did one simple surgery fix things, my Lupus has now been in a remissive state for almost a year. God goes before us, He provides for us, He protects us, and He truly works all things for our good. Romans 8:28 reminds us, “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose”. This is truth that I could hang my hat on!
I say all this today and I share my testimony with you because no one can argue your testimony and what God has done for you! Someone might try to argue about theology, but they could never argue me out of the authentic encounters that I have had with the Lord. Because of what God has done fore me, when I hear Jesus’ charge in Matthew 28:19 to “God and make disciples of all nations baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,” I feel burdened to share what He has done.
We all have a testimony. YOU have a testimony. Use it as a gateway to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Use it to bring God glory and to share the Good News with people who are hurting and broken. Use it to tell of all the good things that our Heavenly Father does for us, knowing that His Word never returns void. This, is my Testimony.