Testimonials are worth money. Advertisers know this. A pop singer holds up a can of Pepsi and it sells. A football player pitches the latest diet program, and a NASCAR driver sells Miller Beer. There’s a confidence factor when you know that some movie star or sports hero endorses your brand. People like to identify with a winner.
When is the last time you saw a losing team making product endorsements? It doesn’t happen in the business world, but it God’s world it does. Remember Joseph in Egypt? Sold as a slave by his brothers, doing time in prison for a crime he didn’t commit? He later testified to his brothers, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.”
It happened in the New Testament, too. The believers in Jerusalem were being persecuted. Peter and John had been arrested and brought before the Sanhedrin. They had been commanded not to speak or teach in the name of Jesus. Who would be next?
The believers were living in difficult times and facing some tough decisions. But they did not pray for safety or that the persecutions would end. Instead, they gave glory to God and prayed that he would strengthen them so they could continue to speak with great boldness! They wanted the Lord to bless them so that they would continue to do signs and wonders in the name of Jesus! They were “losers” whom God would make into winners!
When you stop to think about it, anyone can praise God and be thankful when everything is going well. It takes real faith to praise God and trust his goodness when it seems to us that things are going wrong. When sickness comes, we may have to wait to see the blessing in it. When we suffer loss, it takes faith to believe that it can be for our good. When our church goes through times of trial and testing, believers will still praise God for his mercies and trust that his ways are always good.Believers testify to the goodness and mercy of God even in days of adversity. So Jesus prayed before his crucifixion, “Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you.” Jesus prayed for his disciples, that they “would be protected from the evil one.” And Jesus prayed for us, “that all of them may be one.” – John 17:15-20. Let us continue to pray that God would make us strong in faith that we may testify of Jesus.