Precious Testimonies Ministry Encourager
MAYBE SOME OF THE BEST TESTIMONIES RARELY GET PUBLISHED
By: Norm Rasmussen
God has called Precious Testimonies to publish testimonies that glorify Jesus Christ, and we're so very thankful for the call. We believe God's primary reason for the call is to help point others to Jesus Christ, who have yet found Him as their Savior and Lord. Some people aren't ready to handle preaching and Bible teachings, but they will read a testimony. Sure ' for those of us who are already Christians, it's always encouraging to hear how God is working so mightily in the lives of other people. The walk of faith gets difficult at times. Hearing about God in action is addictive! I've yet to find a Christian who is so full of hope and encouragement that they need no more of it for at least a year! There is simply too much refining and purging from God going on to allow such a thing to happen, and'too much demonic spiritual warfare mixed in.
Perhaps you've never observed on the Precious Testimonies website that we don't specifically request testimonies of physical healing to publish. We certainly enjoy being able to publish bonafide physical healing testimonies that glorify Jesus, because the Holy Spirit often uses them to impart faith to those who are in need of a healing themselves, especially when doctors have done about all they can for the person and they have run out of options.
However, after being a Christian for close to 30 years now, I've reached a crystal clear observation. For every Christian seeking healing from God and gets one supernaturally, there are at least 99 if not 999 other Christians out there (if not higher) with the same sickness and/or disease seeking God for a supernatural healing as well, and they probably won't get one. (Please don't assume God couldn't heal them, or doesn't desire to heal most of them. Many factors can enter into the equation as to why they don't receive a healing from God, and I for one have no intentions of insulting God by saying that He's incapable of executing a healing miracle any time He chooses!). In fact, an overwhelming high percentage of Christians will end up dying of some sort of sickness and/or crippling disease that ushers them into heaven. And when that happens ' they have no testimony that seems to glorify Jesus, right?
Not necessarily. Not necessarily at all!
There are Christians who have had great amounts of financial wealth, only to have it suddenly taken away, and have lived the rest of their lives in near abject poverty, never seeming to see God open His windows of financial blessing again. There are Christians who have been faithful to God in every way possible, only to be rejected and persecuted and tortured in different ways for their faith in Jesus Christ, right up to the end of their earthly lives. It is happening every day in places around the world, and it has been happening since Christ resurrected.
Staying faithful to God through suffering hardship is a testimony that God seems to elevate just as highly ' if not HIGHER, depending on how we look at it. Maybe it has been awhile since you've pondered this aspect of Christianity, so let's refresh our thoughts on the matter. It might not seem all that relevant and encouraging to you now, but down the road, it may be very relevant.
If you read Hebrews Chapter 11, you know it's 'The Faith Chapter.' It starts out by giving us some insights on 'faith,' and then starts listing a long list of people that did mighty exploits in God by their 'mountain moving' ' steadfast faith in God. It then goes on to say that there isn't enough room to list all the mighty 'hero's of the faith,' and then'starting in verse 36, it changes gears. We go from those who obtained their objective through faith in Christ, to those who did NOT receive what they were believing for. Were they 'losers?' 'Fools?' Absolutely not! They were the ones who 'obtained a good testimony of faith' by staying faithful to Jesus Christ when every demon in hell most likely tried to convince them over and over that their faith in Christ had been absolutely useless.
I'll even go so far as to say, in God's eyes, some of them may have a more precious God-glorifying testimony than the preceding 'heroes of the faith.' Why is that? Because it was a lot more difficult for demons to convince the mighty 'heroes of the faith' they weren't hearing from God ' hearing his voice ' obeying His will. When you believe God for something and you see it manifest one day ' demons go real silent about the matter. You're asked to share your testimony on Christian television and other Christian platforms. You get invited to share your testimony in big churches, and generous offerings are sometimes taken to make it worth your while.
But not the little old grandma lying in a bed in some run-down assisted living center in Nowheresville. She's had cancer now for years, and every waking moment she experiences pain. She doesn't ask God to heal her anymore. She gave up on that a long time ago. Now her prayer is, 'Lord ' please just minimize the pain a little so I can make it through one more day, and if you would be so kind, please send someone to me today I can visit with a little, to get my mind off this pain.'
Or the mother and father in Africa or some other poverty struck country who couldn't put food in front of their children so many times they had lost count, because there was none, but the children were told they could trust in Jesus to take care of them, somehow. Then see evil ravage their village and watched their children killed in front of them. Millions right now are silently asking in their minds, 'Jesus ' what have I done to not have your blessings on my life? What did I ever do anyway to deserve all this painful stuff happening to me?'
Yet they keep praying to Jesus. They keep witnessing that He is good, and that it is even a privilege to be suffering for Him, no less! They have virtually none of this world's goods, and have little faith this world's goods will even come into their possession, but they keep being faithful to Jesus. Day after day, week after week'being faithful. Trusting Him that their afflictions are indeed working for them an eternal weight of glory, as 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 assures them is happening:
Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day, for our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory ' while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.
The Holy Spirit mentions those who have experienced ' some their whole lifetime - 'light afflictions' at the end of Chapter 11, and I choose to believe these are the ones whose testimonies of faith may well be the most priceless to God. These are the ones who have nothing tangible than can been seen, really, to show for their faith in Christ in this life, other than assurance of their eternal salvation.
Can you just imagine what goes through one's mind as someone is about to saw you in two for your faith in Jesus, and your refusal to renounce your faith in Him? Demons screaming: 'You fool! If Jesus loved you, He would NOT let you be dying this way! How stupid can a person get to hold onto such a fairytale lie that Jesus Christ cares for His own ' for you!?'
The teeth of the saw starts ripping into your flesh, and everything in your brain begins to question if maybe'just maybe'these demon voices inside your head might be right afterall.
Still others had trial of mockings and scourgings, and yes, chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, were tempted, were slain with the sword. They wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented ' of whom the world was not worthy. They wandered in deserts and mountains, in dens and caves of the earth.
And all these, having obtained a good testimony through faith, did NOT receive the promise, ... (Hebrews 11:36-39 NKJV).
On the other side, those who suffered for their faith in Christ, yet remained faithful right up to the end; they won't get their testimonies published on this website, sadly. But this we can be assured of: A myriad of angels; a myriad of redeemed sinners saved by grace'will be in the grandstands of heaven'standing; applauding; cheering wildly'as God parades them around the grandstand throne of grace'tears of joy running down the eyes of Jesus (though invisible most likely, because this was the very joy He was believing He would one day in glory have manifested to Him'when He hung there dying on the cross for your and my sins).
Who doesn't want faith to believe God for the impossible that we can testify of? But here is the greater reality. We all need to be trusting God for the grace to deal with every trial of adversity that may be around the next bend. Actually maybe grace isn't the only word to use that we need to be trusting for when adversity strikes, if it strikes'but the determination to never quit trusting God to be working something of eternal good out of the suffering we might be faced to endure.
I've grown to believe there is no more precious faithfulness one can have than to be determined to stay in a trusting and thankful relationship with Jesus Christ no matter what comes our way. I believe some of the greatest rewards in eternity will come to those who have a testimony of making it through the fiery trials of life, faithful to trust Jesus, always speaking well of Him, right to the very end.
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were thrown into the fiery furnace for only a short time, yet to never experience physical pain from the fire. Most of us will never experience such a trial. Rather ' many Christians will go through different fiery trials throughout their relationship with Christ where Christ 'seems' to be nowhere around at times while the fire tries to eat away at their soul.
There is a 'faithfulness grace' that God gives to every one of us who belong to Him. This is a dimension of grace that says and means: 'I do not care what God allows to happen to me during this life; I will not quit on Jesus Christ. Yes ' I might get angry at times, but I'll apologize to Him and ask for His forgiveness. I'll ask Him for more grace to endure the hardship I'm going through, because, first off, I would be a fool to quit on Him, and secondly, I plan on having a good testimony of faithfulness through my trials of life to share for eternity that though I was tempted many times to quit on Jesus when the fiery trials pained me to the core of my being ' He remained faithful to help me stay with Him, right up to the very end of my time on earth.'
There are two ways we can release our faith in God when a mountain of trial looms before us. We can persistently trust God to remove it, which He always desires that we be courageous enough to trust Him to do'but while the mountain sometimes almost seems like it's resting squarely on our chest, trying to crush the life out of us, we can trust Him to also give us grace and wisdom daily to deal with the pain, all the while letting God use that mountain to build in us the most priceless testimony that most likely will get told through all eternity: a good testimony of faithfulness through that mountain-crushing trial Satan launched against us before our entering into eternal glory.
As a concluding thought, consider this. Satan and the fallen angels and all those who end up rejecting the salvation truth of Jesus Christ have a 'testimony of faithfulness' they will have to share for all eternity as well. What testimony will that be? The testimony of being faithful to a lie. How tragic; how sad.
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Dear Reader -are you at peace with God? If not, you can be. Do you know what awaits you when you die? You can have the assurance from God that heaven will be your home, if you would like to be certain. Either Jesus Christ died for your sins, or He didn't (He did!). Are you prepared to stand before God on the Judgment Day and tell Him that you didn't need the shed blood of Jesus Christ on the Cross to have your sins forgiven and get in right-standing with God? We plead with you ... please don't make such a tragic mistake.
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