Day 2: Stories
But as for me, how good it is to be near God! I have made the Sovereign Lord my shelter, and I will tell everyone about the wonderful things you do.
Psalm 73:28 NLT
Tell me the stories of Jesus, I love to hear.
Things I would ask Him to tell me if He were here.
Scenes by the wayside, tales of the sea.
Stories of Jesus, tell them to me.
─ Tell Me the Stories of Jesus by William H. Parker
It’s the greatest story ever told. God intentionally limiting Himself to take on human form in order to save the whole wide world. And if you listen, really listen, you’ll hear the story over and over again.
It’s there in the Scriptures, Old and New Testament alike. There in the tales of preschooler escapades and memories of the wise elderly. I’m drawn to story. I just can’t help myself.
Because my story, your story, is ultimately His story. If we don’t share it, if we don’t tell our stories then others might not hear. Others might miss out on claiming the truth of God’s story in their lives too.
This is my story, this is my song.
Praising my Savior all the day long.
This is my story, this is my song.
Praising my Savior, all the day long.
─ Blessed Assurance by Fanny Crosby
Looking back, I find it hard to believe my drive to share my story.
He captured my heart in an ICU waiting room as my mom lay critically ill. Less than two weeks later she died.
In relaying the news to family and friends I felt compelled to write. Not just a brief note about my loss, but a multi-page letter about what He did in my heart.
I openly gave my testimony to family and friends, Believers and unbelievers alike. It seemed like an odd thing for me to do. An introvert. A private person. A new Believer by just a few weeks. Yet, there was no stopping. In the very early days of my faith, the story of His love and grace turning my heart toward Him, simply had to be shared.
You may have noticed, we share our stories here. We do so hoping to encourage you to open up to others and to the power of God.
None of us are big enough to experience all of God. We don’t have enough days on earth to encounter every situation in which a different facet of His power can be displayed. He is infinite. Our stories seem infinite. But at the heart of each of our stories as Believers is a loving God who reveals Himself differently to different people, all for the purpose of drawing them to Himself.
Read Lamentations 3:37-42
What do these verses tell us about God?
How should we respond to what God brings into our lives?
What does He ultimately want us to do?
Nothing happens in our lives apart from God. Whether our stories are filled with good happenings or bad, they are all directed by Him for His purpose. All He allows is meant to move us to return to Him.
In sharing our stories, both good and bad, we learn about others and about His power at work in the lives of people He loves. When we rely solely on our personal experience of God, we limit our ability to understand Him. If we never heard someone else’s experience of His way in their life, we might not consider the different ways He could bring about peace and provision in ours. Sharing stories opens our hearts to the possibilities and ways He wants to interact with us too. It broadens our faith horizon.
The Bible is filled with stories. Historical accounts and parables. Parables are fictional vignettes filled with truth for the purpose of revealing God and His ways. There is nothing like story to relay the heart of a matter or person. From the very beginning, Scripture tells us through personal accounts how God interacts with His creation and relates to people – Believers and unbelievers alike. Through these accounts and the power of the Holy Spirit, we glean truth about who He is and who we are before Him.
It might seem easier if the information we had about Him and His ways was a clear-cut list of rules and descriptions. But facts and instructions are quickly forgotten. Read Leviticus to see the rules God set out for His people to relate to Him, then read through Judges, Kings, and Chronicles to see how often the rules were neglected, lost, or simply tossed out.
Story reveals much more. One reason we hesitate to share our stories is because it makes us vulnerable. In our history with God, most of us have very ugly parts we’d rather keep hidden. But when we surrender the worst of ourselves to God, He takes those painful seasons and blesses us with healing, forgiveness, and peace. Sharing those stories of grace bring God the greatest degree of glory. His power to redeem is revealed.
Read Luke 22:31-32
What does Jesus reveal will become a part of Peter’s faith story?
What does Jesus say He has done for Peter? What will Peter do with his story?
Jesus knows we will fail. He also knows when we repent, return, we will have a story to tell which will strengthen our fellow Believers.
Read 1Timothy 1:12-17
Paul shares his “before and after” story with Timothy, a fellow leader he has been encouraging. How could Paul’s story encourage Timothy’s faith?
Describe Paul’s view of God. From his story, why do you think he has such a view?
Does Paul’s story impact your view of God? How?
Read Revelation 12:10-11
How will the accuser of Believers be thrown down and conquered?
Sometimes, sharing our testimony, our story, can feel like dying of shame. But when we tell it from the perspective of victory in Jesus. When we willingly humble ourselves in our brokenness and reveal His glory in us, without thought for self, our stories reveal His glory. And in laying our lives wide open for others to see His work of healing and redemption, the enemy is defeated! More are strengthened and saved. The number of Believers multiplied.
Story has power, but only when we share them.
Talk It Out
Talk it over with yourself:
Do you have a story you would never consider sharing? Write how you would feel if God asked you to share your story of His victory in your life with someone who needed it.
Write out the risks in sharing your story. Then list blessings which might make taking the risk worth it.
Talk it over with God:
Ask God to reveal the work He’s done in your life and give you the faith to put it in words so you can share your story to strengthen His Kingdom.
I waited patiently for the Lord; he inclined to me and heard my cry. He drew me up from the pit of destruction out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the Lord.
Psalm 40:1-3 ESV
Work Out Your Faith
Ask God to bless you with an opportunity to share a personal story as an act of love and encouragement to someone who is suffering.
Reflection Scripture: Journal
Click here for today’s guided Journal Page – Share Day 2. Follow the directions.
Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.
Hebrews 13:16 ESV