When God does something miraculous in our lives, He does so not only for our benefit but for His glory. We owe it to Him and to others to testify to God’s goodness. We share our testimony with all who will listen. So, what does testify in the Bible mean? Why is it important to give our testimony? And, why do we testify of God’s goodness? It’s in our testimony that God is glorified and the enemy is defeated.
What is testify in the Bible?
- To make a solemn declaration, verbal or written, to establish some fact; to give testimony for the purpose of communicating to others a knowledge of something not known to them. Jesus “needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man” (John 2:25).
- To bear witness to; to support the truth of by testimony. “…to testify the gospel of the grace of God” (Acts 20:24).
When we testify, we share our testimony with others.
Cancer. Chemotherapy. Cure. These three small words held such weight not only on our shoulders but in our souls as well.
When our oldest child was but a toddler, my husband received a diagnosis of a very rare form of cancer. That six-letter word carried such a punch that our picture-perfect life in our glasshouse was shattered. The prognosis was poor, and doctors warned us to “get your affairs in order.
Still, we prayed and determined that despite the doctor’s report, we were not settling for anything less than God’s report. We fully believed God could heal him.
With respect to cancer, doctors rarely talk of “cure.” They readily speak of remission…but rarely will they consider a patient is cured.
Major surgery was scheduled followed by months of grueling chemotherapy treatments and tortuous side effects. Following the cessation of his treatments, we held our breath as we waited for the results from medical tests to assess the condition of the cancer. Despite the odds which were not in our favor, the doctor himself was surprised to report “no evidence of disease.”
We exhaled with relief before asking what we really wanted to know: “Does this mean he is cured?”
Such assurances were not forthcoming, despite there being no any evidence of disease. Every follow-up doctor’s appointment, lab work, and scan again caused us to hold our breath for fear of what we might be told; we never again wanted to be taken off guard.
When Jesus healed the leper
When I think of the story of Jesus healing the leper in Matthew 8:1-4, it’s not difficult to put myself in the leper’s situation. He approached Jesus and almost in a matter of fact manner stated, “If you feel like it Jesus, you can heal me.”
I wonder why he approached Jesus in this way? I don’t know how I would have behaved, but when my husband was diagnosed with cancer, we searched high and low for the best doctors with the most experience, and after hearing his prognosis, grasped for help. Some doctors cast him aside, feeling there was nothing they could do to help. Everyone else had cast the leper aside, perhaps he feared Jesus would as well.
It spoke volumes when Jesus responded simply, “I want to.”
God still desires to heal today. 3 John 1:2 reminds us that God desires for us to be healthy: “Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in health; I know that it is well with your soul.”
Why is it important to give your testimony?
In the Leper’s case, Jesus instantly healed by a simple touch. What Jesus said next is crucial for us. He told the leper to go to the priest to be examined, and then the healed man was to give a public testimony of his cure.
I suspect Jesus did this for a couple of reasons. If there was any lingering doubt in the leper’s mind, Jesus knew the priest would declare him to be cured. Faith comes by hearing, and by hearing himself declared healed, it would bolster his faith. It was also important for him to give his testimony because Then he was to as he publicly told tell about his healing as a testimony of what Jesus had done for him, it also bolstered others’ faith.
I have to wonder if it was difficult for the leper to come to terms with what Jesus had done for him?
He had been accustomed to being a leper and then was instantaneously given a new identity of a clean man. I wonder if that took a while to settle within him. It did for us after my husband was declared to “have no evidence of disease.”
I wonder if it was difficult for him to share with others? “What if the leprosy returned? What if they didn’t believe him?”
We struggled as well.
The doctors didn’t declare my husband cured, despite the lack of evidence of disease, so we had a choice to make. We could choose to hang on to doubt or choose to believe that God had performed a miracle and then share our testimony with others to encourage their faith.
We chose to believe God and shared our testimony with all who would listen. Mostly we wanted to encourage others. God does not play favorites. If He healed my husband, He would do it for others too.
Why do we testify of God’s goodness?
When God does something life-changing in our lives, He does so not only for our benefit but for His glory. We owe it to Him and to others to testify to His goodness.
That’s how we defeat the enemy of our souls. “They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony” (Revelation 12:11).
When God steps in and intervenes in your life, will you testify about it to others?
I’d love to hear about God’s goodness in your life in the comments below.
Because of Him, #HopePrevails!
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Depression doesn’t have to become a permanent part of life.
There is hope.
Hope Prevails: Insights From a Doctor’s Personal Journey Through Depression and the companion Hope Prevails Bible Study help the reader understand how depression comes to be, recover their joy, reclaim their peace, and re-establish their true identity, while knowing their worth, remembering their secure destiny, and being confident that nothing separates them from God’s love.
“It is refreshing to have a board-certified neuropsychologist acknowledge the spiritual component of depression, but it is even more impressive that Dr. Bengtson would be willing to share her own journey through the fog of despair. Her personal insights are invaluable for those who are struggling with what is often described as ‘the common cold of mental illness.’”
Dr. Neil T. Anderson, founder and president emeritus of Freedom in Christ Ministries and
Author of Overcoming Depression