Monday, July 05, 2010


Lately I've been thinking about people's testimonies. We heard another moving one at church this weekend, from a young man who had been caught in the world of drugs and alcohol and hit rock bottom depression, then finally decided to give God a try, wherein God answered his prayers and rescued him, so he became a Christian. I've been inspired by my fiancee's testimony which was similar; it's hard to believe that he lived that kind of lifestyle in the past, considering what a Christ-like gentleman he is now. I believe with all of my heart that God can transform lives, as in 2 Corinthians 5:17--"Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature; old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new."

The problem is that we hear these testimonies a lot, and sometimes it actually makes it difficult for those of us who don't have these stories ourselves. The world makes it seem like we need to have this amazing conversion story from jail or skid row in order to witness to others about what Christ has done for us. Obviously the last thing we ought to do is live the wild life in order to repent and have a testimony to tell, but without that, sometimes it's almost discouraging to think that we don't really have a good story.

My personal testimony is that I've had ups and downs in my spiritual life, and to be honest, they haven't always coincided with my feelings of happiness or depression. There were times when I wandered from daily devotion and didn't think so much about God, and some of those times were lonely and others were quite happy. There have also been times where I've reached out to God and kept close to Him, and some of those times were filled with happiness and others were moments of deep depression. I can't honestly say that I was miserable without God, then at a certain point I repented and gave my life to Him, "and now I am happy all the day," to quote the song (frankly, that's why I don't really like that part of the song that much anyway).

I had been thinking about this a lot lately when I happened to turn to Hebrews 11 this morning. It's such a famous chapter that sometimes it's easy to gloss over if you pretty much have it memorized already. But what struck me was that the champions of faith mentioned in this chapter, such as Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, and Moses, never really had a fantastic "conversion" testimony. They were simply--faithful.

The verse that struck me the most was Hebrews 11:5 (emphasis mine).
By faith Enoch was taken away so that he did not see death, and was not found because God had taken him; for before he was taken he had this testimony: that he pleased God.
Wow, Enoch had the best testimony ever: he didn't even have to die, he was that close to God! God just took him to Heaven! And what was his testimony? One simple thing: that he pleased God.

So, for those of us who don't have a great story--or those who do, it doesn't really matter in the end--it's not so important what your story is, your testimony is simply this: Can it be said that you pleased God?

By the way, the next verse defines what it means to please God:
But without faith it is impossible to please Him; for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

So, the way we please God is to have faith in Him. And according to this verse, the way to have faith in Him is to: 1. believe that He is (exists), and 2. believe that He rewards those who diligently seek Him.

Apparently those two elements are the most powerful testimony in the world.

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