by Craig Etheredge
Jesus can use your greatest weakness as your greatest witness. Up to this point, we have been talking about your testimony; your salvation story. But I’m sure that as you think back over your life, you could find many stories — outside of your salvation — where Jesus met your need or ministered to you in a special way. Usually these stories are wrapped around some crisis or problem we have experienced. These stories can also be very effective in pointing people to Jesus.There was a young man who was born blind and sat at the temple area every day begging for change. One day, Jesus passed by and had compassion on this man. He covered his eyes with mud and told him to wash in the Pool of Siloam. The man washed his eyes, and immediately he could see!
This miracle set off a buzz of excitement. Everyone was talking about his healing. Unfortunately, the religious leaders weren’t as excited. Jesus had healed this man on the Sabbath, which according to their tradition was against the law. They brought the man into the synagogue and interrogated him. They even brought in his parents to corroborate his story that he was born blind. At one point, as they were asking him how this miracle took place and if Jesus had sinned for healing on the Sabbath, the young man simply replied, “Whether he is a sinner I do not know. One thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see,” (John 9.25 ESV). This man wasn’t interested in deep debates. All he knew was that he was born blind and now he could see. This crisis of blindness in his life was actually a platform for this man to talk about Jesus.
Another great example is the man filled with demons. Before his encounter with Jesus, this guy was a wild man, literally running around at night, screaming in pain and living in the graveyards. But one day he met Jesus, and his life was completely changed. He was clothed and in his right mind — a new man through and through. He begged Jesus to let him travel with Him, but Jesus had other plans in mind. Jesus said, “No, go home to your family, and tell them everything the Lord has done for you and how merciful he has been,” (Mark 5.19 NLT).
The man did what Jesus said and returned to his family and his people, telling his incredible story. As a result, many people were influenced by the Gospel. This man’s horrible past became a platform to talk about the power of Jesus. In both of these cases, these men experienced something bad — a crisis, a tragedy, a problem — and yet they found Jesus was more than able to bring them through it. We all have stories like this.
We have faced times of crisis or trial and found Jesus was able to carry us, and even turn it for good in our lives. I call these your “crisis stories.” These are your personal stories of times when you faced a crisis, and you found that Jesus carried you through. You have your salvation testimony, but you also need to have stories that happened after your salvation where you experienced God’s power in a special way. Those stories can be very effective to point people to Jesus. (Romans 8.28 ESV) says, “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” This verse doesn’t say that all things are good. There are many things that come into our lives that are terrible and painful. This verse promises that for those who love Jesus and are committed to following His purpose for their lives, even the bad things can be used by God for good. I’ve heard it said, “Your misery is your ministry,” or, “Your pain is your platform.”
As you talk honestly about the pains in your life and how Jesus has brought good out of them, they become powerful stories of grace and healing that draw people to Jesus.
Published with permission from discipleFIRST.