Thanks to the wonders of Zoom, we had guest speaker Yan Hadley join with us tonight to give us a message entitled ‘The Power Of A Personal Testimony.’ 1 Pet 3:15 urges us to be prepared always to give a reason for the hope we have and we all have a story to tell and a testimony to share of who God is and what He has done for us. We are living in challenging times, but we need to embrace the challenges of life, because the purpose of God is to change us – and change often only comes through times of testing. We are changed primarily by two things: uncomfortable circumstances (which James urges us to treat as friends – see James 1:2-4) and the uncompromising word of God (which is living and active – see Heb 4:12).
As we face the challenge of a global pandemic, we have many questions and uncertainties, but need to have an unshakeable confidence that God can deliver us. In the Bible, we see three examples of this:
1. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego demonstrated confidence in God’s ability to deliver them from the fiery furnace (Dan 3:17-18). The king did not believe God could deliver them (Dan 3:15), but they were uncompromising in their refusal to bow down to him. They saw God’s miraculous deliverance from harm and as a result had a powerful testimony.
2. Daniel demonstrated a similar confidence in God when the edict went out banning prayer. He continued to pray, even though this resulted in being thrown into a den of lions, and he was able to answer the question of the king in the affirmative, for God did indeed deliver him. (Daniel 6)
3. David showed similar confidence in God when he came against Goliath (1 Sam 17). Goliath was the biggest bully around and it would have been easy for David to feel intimidated, but instead he had boldness and confidence in God’s ability. He could later speak of God’s ability to deliver from every trouble and affliction he faced. (Ps 34:19)
If we want a powerful personal testimony like these men, we need to:
refuse to compromise what we believe, not allowing fear to lead us into compromise
rest in the security of God’s protection, for God is on our side (Rom 8:31), our refuge and strength and help in trouble (Ps 46:1)
respond to every challenge by speaking out boldly. The enemy seeks to silence us; it’s often easier for us to retreat into our shells, but God wants us to speak out and confess with our lips what we believe in our hearts. We need to embrace challenges with confidence in the truth ‘My God is able to deliver me.’ Circumstances, people and even the devil may be against us, but God is for us.