Witnessing; August 15, 2019

Psalm 66:16 Come and listen, all you who fear God;
let me tell you what he has done for me.

In reading this Psalm just now it strikes me that the Psalmist isn’t just talking about good stuff God has done. From verse 10 he talks about how God has tested him, but verse 12 says, “We went through fire and water, but You brought us to a place of abundance.” In other words, he is praising God for the hard times as well as the good. That is real faith. Our testimony isn’t to be sugar coated, but rather honest, even to the point of being gritty. “It was rough, but I’m not the same person I was when I started, and God is good,” is a testimony more people need to hear! Too many people today have been raised to expect everything to be good all the time, and when life isn’t like that, they break down and have a fit. Raising children like that is, frankly, child abuse. I’ve heard some stories recently that tested my credulity, that any parent would be that misguided, but those stories are sadly true. Life isn’t like that, and our testimonies of God’s love and faithfulness need to be honest above all. After all, even Jesus told us clearly, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) Testimonies that leave out the trouble are nothing more than fantasies.

I have had my troubles along the way, and I have them now, but the balance is overwhelmingly in favor of blessing. It’s easy to overlook the trouble when I am so aware of the blessing, but if I focus on the trouble, I forget the blessing! I am totally in agreement with Paul when he said, “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.” (2 Corinthians 4:17) This is a lesson I’ve had to learn over the years. I’m in the middle of a computer problem right now that would have been devastating a few years ago, but my feeling right now is that this too will pass, however much inconvenience is involved in the process. I can’t say I enjoy trouble – I’m no masochist – but I’ve learned to take heart like Jesus said, because in Him I am more than a conqueror. (Romans 8:37) When I share the Gospel with others I am not to hide anything, but focus on the love of God above all.

Father, thank You for this reminder. Thank You for the opportunities for witness You’re giving us in the photo show. I pray that many would be drawn to You through hearing of Your faithfulness to us over the past 50 years, for their salvation and Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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