In Trials on
26 March, 2013

Stories to Tell

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Everyone has a story, and every story needs to be told.

Maybe your story is that you grew up in an abusive home, but the Lord rescued you. Perhaps your story is that atheist parents raised you, but God opened your eyes to His truth. Or it could even be that you said the sinner’s prayer at five years old, and Jesus has kept you close to His side through many trials and pains.

No matter what your story is, you need to remember that it’s your story to tell. It’s a story that God has written and revealed to you—a story that’s unfinished, but at the same time is ready for sharing with others today. Your story is one that can be used to touch the lives of others and spread the gospel.

“There’s life to be lived
And stories to tell
Lessons to learn
We don’t know yet
Nothing to lack, looking back
Knowing that we have lived it well
With stories to tell.” {Dave Barnes}

This struck me recently while I was listening to “Stories to Tell” by Dave Barnes. I realized that while I cannot share the deepest details of my story with everyone I meet, I can tell of God’s faithfulness in my life to every person God places in my path–I can share it with my coworkers, my friends, my relatives and even the cashier at the fruit market. The truth is that I have many unsaved family members, I work with Jewish people every day, and my own next-door neighbors are Catholic. These are people who need to know Jesus.

And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.” {Mark 16:15-16}

God provides us with scriptures that reveal our need for Him {John 3:16, Romans 3:23, Hebrews 7:25, Revelation 22:17, etc}, and in addition, He has given us each a testimony that He can use to bring salvation to the lost. But so many times, when we think of the past, our stories remind us of past hurts, past pains, past trials and past losses. Who wants to dwell on those things?

But you know what? It’s time to stop pretending like we can blot out our pasts with a gigantic black sharpie. It’s time meditate on what God has done in our lives, how He has been glorified in our trials and how our stories can bring hope to others. And do you know something else? God brings us comfort through our trials {Matthew 5:4} and it’s our biblical duty to share that comfort with others {2 Corinthians 1:3-5}.

I know for me, it’s not always easy to talk about the past. I have so many memories that could easily inflict fresh wounds, but instead of worrying about that, I choose to trust in Jesus and know that He gave me a story that I need to tell. Doing so not only draws others to salvation, but also builds my own faith because in the process, I remind myself of God’s faithfulness to me.

And one other thing, don’t ever be scared to share your testimony. If you trust in yourself and your own ability to save others, you will inevitably fail. There’s no sugarcoating that. Instead, trust God and know that HE is the one who can bring salvation to anyone if it is His will to do so {even the bully at your school, the pro-abortion doctor who lives in your neighborhood and the strongest atheist in the nation}. Allow Him to use you, and pray for opportunities to share your story.

So, can we get to know each other for a moment here?

My name is Jennifer Hope, and I know what it’s like to put my hope in the false promises of the world. I never knew how much I needed to depend on God {nor how much He loved me} until I was torn away from the one thing I held closest to my heart–a dream upon which my happiness had for so long depended. I realized that God was right next to me the whole time. He used this difficulty as an opportunity for me to let Him pick up my broken pieces, put them back together and place me on a new path. He gave me a testimony that He uses to pull at the heartstrings of anyone looking for fulfillment. That’s because my story is that I have found complete fulfillment in Jesus Christ. And so can you.

What’s your story? I’d love to hear it! Feel free to comment below or email your story to me at admin@jennifershopeblog.com if you’d like your testimony featured in a future post.

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