1When the Lord brought back his exiles to Jerusalem,[a] it was like a dream! 2 We were filled with laughter, and we sang for joy. And the other nations said, “What amazing things the Lord has done for them.” 3 Yes, the Lord has done amazing things for us! What joy!
We are getting ready for baptisms in September at New Hope. Each time we do them, we ask the people who are interested in being baptized three questions:
What was my life like before accepting Jesus as my savior and leader?
How did I come to the decision to surrender my life to Jesus?
What are some changes I see God making in my life since I decided to follow Him?
We use the questions as the springboard for helping them tell their story, sometimes called their testimony. In this context, testimony is defined as “a public confession of a religious experience” by Miriam Webster. Basically, we are asking them to tell us “what amazing things the Lord has done for them.” In a very real way, crossing the line of faith is like being brought back from exile as this Psalm talks about.
For those of us that are Christ followers, we have a story to tell of how that happened. Maybe it was a single event or maybe it happened over the course of time, but when we look back, we can see God’s hand at work, drawing us to Himself. Just as the nations around Israel could see what God had done for them, we are meant to share what God has done for us with those around us.
As wonderful as salvation is, that’s just the beginning of the story. For some, God’s rescue is dramatic, lifting them out of the grips of addictions, sinful patterns of living or destructive behaviors. For others, the story may not be as dramatic, but it’s still real and deep. Regardless of the starting point, the journey continues as we get to know Him and learn how to live our lives following His lead. Change is hard work, but as He molds and shapes us, we have new stories, fresh stories to tell of the amazing things He has done. The work doesn’t end until we see Him face to face in Heaven.
How is your story coming? Do you recognize the amazing things that God is doing in and around you every day? Pray for eyes to see Him; He’s always at work, if we let Him.
Executive Director of Education and Outreach