by Rick Warren
“Thank the Lord! Praise his name! Tell the world about his wondrous love and how mighty he is!” (Isaiah 12:4 TLB)
No other person on Earth knows your story better than you do. Sharing your testimony with others can be a powerful and important way to tell God thank you for all he has done. The Bible says in Isaiah 12:4, “Thank the Lord! Praise his name! Tell the world about his wondrous love and how mighty he is!” (TLB)
You know what a testimony is. It’s not what lawyers do. It’s what a witness does. You’re not trying to convince anybody. You’re not trying to pressure someone for a decision. You’re just telling others what happened to you. Nobody can give your testimony except you.
Unless you give a testimony about how God works in your life, your story will never be told. As you share your story, you’re expressing gratitude to God. You’re not only letting others know about what God is doing in your life, but you’re also being a model for a life of gratitude — which is incredibly important.
For example, I once read a scientific study that said the two healthiest emotions are generosity and gratitude. People who demonstrate those emotions regularly are more resistant to disease and less likely to get ill than people who are grouchy and grumpy. When you publicly tell others about what God has done in your life, you let them in on this amazing health secret!
You also give them a glimpse into God’s will for their lives. The Bible says, “Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:18 NIV). God’s will for our lives is gratitude in all circumstances. God doesn’t want thanksgiving to be an event on our calendar; he wants it to be our lifestyle.
When our lifestyle expresses gratitude to God in front of others, miracles happen regularly. In Acts 16, Paul and Silas, two preachers in the New Testament, went to Philippi to speak. The crowd didn’t like them, so they stoned and jailed them. At midnight in a dark jail, Paul and Silas started thanking God despite any apparent resolution to their problem. They prayed, they sang, and they thanked God. God then sent a miraculous earthquake that opened the doors of the jail and loosened their chains.
When the Roman jailer saw this, he was so shaken he almost committed suicide. Paul and Silas then shared their story, and the man became a follower of Jesus right there. Soon his whole family followed suit and were baptized that night.
Your testimony of gratitude has the power to unlock prisons, too.