Giving a Testimony; August 23, 2022

Psalm 40:10 I do not hide your righteousness in my heart;
I speak of your faithfulness and salvation.
I do not conceal your love and your truth
from the great assembly.

Several of David’s Psalms seem almost bipolar, going from joyful praise to self-centered depression and back again. This is one of those, yet it is undeniably inspired. Verses six and seven are recognized in the New Testament as being prophetic of Jesus, and several parts of this Psalm have been set to music and dearly loved in that form. We tend to want to be “up” all the time, but life, and human nature, aren’t like that. I personally think that a number of things that are diagnosed as psychiatric disorders these days are really just people being human. The more we focus on the negatives the more narcissistic we become, and that is never healthy. In this verse David is recognizing a major antidote to all of that, and that is testifying about the good things God has done for us. In telling others, we are reminded of God’s grace and faithfulness, and that shifts our focus away from ourselves and onto the only One who deserves all praise, thanks, and glory. One of my wife’s favorite hymns, even from her childhood, is Count Your Blessings. Doing that, not just to yourself but to others, can be powerful spiritual warfare. In this verse David speaks of God’s righteousness, faithfulness, salvation, love, and truth. When we’re busy telling others of these things, we too will be lifted up and the devil’s lies will be defeated.

“Giving a testimony” was something I knew of but was never stressed in my childhood. Every religious tradition has its weak points and its strong points! We have had “testimony time” in our services here, but I didn’t teach on the benefits very much and it kind of faded away. One issue is that in Japanese culture bragging is seen as very impolite, to put it mildly, and giving testimonies can feel like bragging. I need to lay the foundation for people to understand the difference between bragging and giving God praise and glory. To be honest, that line can blur at times for all of us, but we must not let that keep us from testifying of God’s goodness. I myself have held back from testifying out of a fear of being seen as bragging. I need to let God’s perfect love cast out all fear, (1 John 4:18) and lead all the believers here to testify of what God has done for them, so that many more may be drawn to repentance and faith.

Father, thank You for pointing this out to me. I ask for clear guidance and anointing as I not only preach, but teach and coach all the believers to be the witnesses You have called us to be, (Acts 1:8) for the salvation of many and for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!

About jgarrott

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