I grew up in a traditional Black Baptist church in southern California. While I love my church service today, I miss the “Testimony Sundays” that were an aspect of worship from my childhood. Usually held during a Sunday evening service, believers would take those opportunities to share what God had done for them or describe what the Lord had brought them through.
These stories recounted unexpected favor on the job that led to promotions, salary increases, or new opportunities. Sharing this inspired hope in the unemployed, in those stuck in a rut, and those with young, impressionable minds like mine. On more than one occasion I heard “right place at the right time” stories. One testimony recalled a time when someone with a special God-given skill was already at the hospital on the day of an emergency surgery that required their particular skill. Some may call the availability of the specialist a coincidence, but the speaker attributed the coincidence to God. These worship services inspired hope in those still waiting in the midst of uncertain and hopeless circumstances. They reminded us that God can bring us through challenging times and will journey with us through tough situations.
As I reflect on the prophecies of hope and breakthrough that Jeremiah delivers, I remember those sacred testimony services. Jeremiah tells us that the God of Israel will liberate, transform, restore and care for us. Through all the ages, God’s hope rings true.
What stories do you remember about God’s activity in your life or in the lives of those around you that give you hope?
God, grant me the courage to share the story of your activity in my life. Amen.