1/23/06

Encouragement for Today

 

“When God Builds a Testimony”

Glynnis Whitwer, Senior Editor – “P31 Woman Magazine,” Proverbs 31 Speaker Team Member

 

Key Verse:

Romans 8:28, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (NIV)

 

Devotion:

Two certified copies of our home study?  We need two?” I asked Pam, our adoption liaison, in disbelief.   My husband was leaving for Africa to pick up our daughters the next morning and I stared at the wall in shock. 

 

How could I have overlooked that detail on the adoption checklist?   I’d checked it at least 20 times.  It said we needed duplicate copies of all forms, but I hadn’t considered the home study a “form”.

 

It was noon on Veteran’s Day - which was Friday - the start of a three-day weekend.  I couldn’t imagine we could get another copy before the end of the day, but I knew we had to try.   As soon as I hung up the phone, I frantically dialed the phone numbers for the local adoption agency, the director’s cell phone and our social worker.  Trying to hide the panic in my voice, I left messages at all three numbers. 

 

Unsure of what else to do, my husband Tod, drove to the agency, in hopes the staff was there.  I sat frozen, staring out the window in disbelief and prayed with fervor for God’s intervention. 

 

Since we had learned two weeks earlier we could pick up our daughters, I’d been praying for God to cover the details.  There were so many, that we felt overwhelmed.  We were amazed when all the necessary last-minute requirements fell into place, and saw God’s handprints all over the process. 

 

Now, the day before Tod was to leave, it looked as if it would be delayed.  I was upset with myself for not having made sure we had everything in place.  If only I had called personally to talk through the checklist with our liaison, we wouldn’t be in this predicament.  As I sat alternately berating myself, and praying for God to step in and help with one more detail, the phone rang. 

 

It was Pam.  My heart leapt at her words.  Although it wasn’t normally done, the director of the African orphanage was confident she could finalize the adoption with the one home study they already received.  I could have screamed with joy, and wanted to jump through the phone to give Pam a hug.

 

I thanked her and quickly called my husband to tell him the good news.  He was just pulling into the parking lot of the local agency and almost turned around to come home.  However, I suggested he check and see if anyone was there, and tell them our problem was solved. 

 

A few minutes later Tod called back with amazing news.  The director was sitting at the front desk, listening to my message and had one certified copy of our home study to give to Tod.  We had our two copies, and we praised God for coordinating another detail.

 

When I relayed the good news to Pam, she simply said, “TheLord loves to build a testimony for us to share with others and He surely uses some interesting events and people to build it with!”

 

This concept of God building a testimony helps me understand in greater measure why God allows us to experience certain things, especially those that are painful.   In our situation, God allowed us to experience a harrowing two hours in order to prove Himself faithful over the details.

 

A Christian’s testimony always includes something about the character of God.  Romans 8:28 tells us, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”  I believe the “good” in some very difficult life experiences might be what we learn about God’s unchanging nature and His faithfulness.  

 

It helps to know that God doesn’t waste any life experience.   As the Master Builder of our lives, God can turn any “pile of sand” into a terrific building block for our future testimony.

 

My Prayer for Today:

Heavenly Father, I praise You for caring about the details of my life, and for using each of my experiences to build a testimony for You.  Help me to see Your hand in all areas of my life.  I ask for greater faith to trust You when I don’t understand. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

 

Application Steps:

Identify a recent difficult situation.  List what good came out of it that you can use as a future testimony.

 

Reflection Points:

When you go through a trial of some type, how do you normally respond?

 

What confidence does Roman 8:28 give you about the difficult experiences in your life?

 

As you look back over your life, what people or experiences can God use to build your testimony?

 

What have you learned about God during some of your darkest times?

 

Power Verses:

Genesis 50:20, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” (NIV)

 

Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”  (NIV)

 

1 Corinthians 1:9, “God, who has called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful.” (NIV)

 

1 Peter 2:9, “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” (NIV)

 

Hebrews 6:17, “Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of his purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, he confirmed it with an oath.” (NIV)

 

Additional Resources:

What Happens When Women Walk In Faith by Lysa TerKeurst

http://proverbs31.gospelcom.net/newresources_whatHappens.htm

 

Becoming a Woman Who Listens to God by Sharon Jaynes

http://proverbs31.gospelcom.net/newresources_becomingAWoman.htm

 

P31 Woman Magazine

http://proverbs31.gospelcom.net/woman.htm