Afraid to Testify

August 17, 2020

8 So don’t be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, or of me his prisoner. Instead, share in suffering for the gospel, relying on the power of God.  9 He has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began. 10 This has now been made evident through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who has abolished death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. 11 For this gospel I was appointed a herald, apostle, and teacher, 12 and that is why I suffer these things. But I am not ashamed, because I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that he is able to guard what has been entrusted to me until that day.

2 Timothy 1:8-12

Written by Rachel Menard from the Station Hill Campus

In my short lifetime, God has allowed me an immense amount of trials and trauma. Some of these have been at my own hand, whereas others are still hard to understand. Yet through all of it, God has given me the opportunity to submit my life to be used for His glory.

When I was younger, I remember feeling as though sharing my struggles would tarnish God’s name. The words “Don’t hurt your witness” were spoken to me liberally. As I got older and God began to change my heart, I discovered what He would have me do with everything He so generously allowed me to experience. I learned that staying silent had never been about hurting my witness before the Throne of Grace, but more accurately it was about keeping me from embarrassing those around me.

I eventually learned—and am now deeply convinced—that my true focus should be about not being ashamed of my humanity in the hands of the Great I AM. This realization moved me from a works-and-fear based relationship with Him to boldly testifying to His tender work in my wretched heart.

In 2 Timothy 1, we find Paul pouring the fuel of encouragement on his beloved son in the faith, Timothy. After sharing a few loving words, he goes straight to lighting the fire. Paul’s words challenge Timothy to stand with a clear conscience and an eager confidence. Also, Timothy’s declarations were not to be sales pitches for fleshly comfort and earthly prosperity. Rather, they were to testify to the long-suffering in life and in death of our slain and risen Savior, Jesus Christ.

Paul himself had long remained faithful to that same calling, and he was still doing everything he was asking Timothy to do. At that point in time, he was speaking these truths in preparation for his own martyrdom. What made Paul able to remain steadfast in the face of death for Timothy’s benefit is the same reason we can stand true for those whom God has entrusted to us. Jesus, who came to do the will of the Father, stood firm in the face of His accusers, bearing the penalty of sin and death and making the way for us to have eternal life.

I remember as a little girl singing 1 Timothy 1:12, “For I am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I’ve committed unto Him against that day.” But it was not until later in life that I understood that those words don’t mean God has “got my back” in whatever I choose to do. Instead, I have come to realize that God provided a very specific way for me to testify to others about His grace and power because I have committed the actual events of my life to Him. It’s not about my “witness” or my righteousness. My confidence comes through knowing I stand in the righteousness of Christ.

Questions to Ask Yourself

  1. Are you so ashamed of the “dirty” part of your story that you refuse to let God shine His light through it?
  2. Do you believe a relationship with Jesus Christ gives you access to forgiveness and freedom?
  3. Are you persuaded that God is able to use you and your life’s trials for the purpose of increasing others’ relationship with Him?

Family Activity

Washed Clean

No matter what your past looks like, God is able to give you a bright future. Sin separates us from God. A sin is anything you think, say, or do that is not pleasing to God. Everyone one of us has sinned, except Jesus. Jesus lived a perfect life and He died on the cross to save us from our sins.

We can ask God to forgive us from our sins and we can accept Jesus’s gift of Salvation. To demonstrate what sin looks like, take a washable marker and write something that is a sin (or the word sin) on your hand. Try to get the “sin” off your hand all by yourself (without using any soap or water or any kind of help).

You might be able to smear the “sin” or hide it a little bit, but it’s still there. Now go to the sink and wash your hands with soap and water. What happened to the “sin”? It was washed clean! That’s what happens to us when we accept Jesus’s help. We can’t erase the “sin” on our own, but Jesus washed our sin clean! He washed our hearts clean and we don’t have to be ashamed of our sin anymore. We are washed as white as snow.

Subscribe to the Daily Devotional