February 10, 2019
Our Powerful Testimony
And the night following the Lord stood by him, and said, Be of good cheer, Paul: for as thou hast testified of me in Jerusalem, so must thou bear witness also at Rome. – Acts 23:11
Our testimony is a tool that God likes to use. In our church services, we have people spontaneously stand to their feet and tell what the Lord has done for them. It is an encouragement to those who hear the testimony as well as to the person who gives it.
The Apostle Paul shared his Damascus-road experience whenever he could. One time he used it in an unusual setting. He had just been kicked out of the Temple because the people accused him of polluting it by bringing Gentiles inside, and then he was beaten as well. When the captain of the band heard that Paul had stirred the people, he began to question Paul. Then, because the people were in an uproar, Paul was taken inside. As Paul was being transported up the stairs, with the crowd yelling, “Away with him!” Paul asked the chief captain if he could speak to the people. This was permitted, and Paul silenced the people by giving his testimony in the Hebrew language. Sadly, those listening took issue with his testimony, and Paul received further scourging by the chief captain. Finally Paul told them that he was a Roman citizen and they stopped scourging him for fear of retaliation by the Roman government.
What an ordeal Paul had to go through to give his testimony! The Lord must have known that he needed some encouragement and told Paul to be of good cheer.
We may never encounter the things that Paul did when giving our testimony, but the devil would still like to stop us by convincing us that our testimony is ineffective. However, God does use our testimony for His purpose. Before going to Jerusalem, Paul was advised not to go because of what the Jews would do to him. But Paul’s response was that he was not only ready to go and suffer in Jerusalem, but to die.
Paul was resolute in sharing what God had done for him at whatever cost. We, too, must not be silenced. We must tell others about what God has done for us and what He can do for them.