Sharing Your Story to People Who Need Hope
So many people feel hopeless today. As a pastor I talk to them all the time.
“My life is out of control! I can’t seem to change. Nothing seems to work. Life has kicked the hope out of me. I feel trapped. I’m trapped in a hopeless marriage. I’m trapped in a hopeless career. I’m trapped in a hopeless crisis. I’m trapped in a hopeless addiction. I’m trapped in a hopeless health issue.”
Everybody needs hope.
1 Peter 3:15 says, “And if someone asks about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain it. But do this in a gentle and respectful way.”
We need to be prepared to give an answer to, “How did you make it in life?” Be prepared. Here's what I suggest we do. We need to make a list of all the experiences we've had in life to this day, positive and negative. Then we ask, "What did I learn from that experience? How did God help me make it through that tough time?" Ask God, "How did You help me through that tough time?" Then we write our story out on paper.
Then, ask God to open your eyes to the people who need to hear your story. And remember, your story isn’t really about how great you are and how you overcame all the obstacles in your life. Your story should point to Jesus. He’s the hero. Your story should encourage others that you are just a regular person who has a really incredible friend, Jesus.
Also, let me encourage you, there is no such thing as a boring testimony. The fact that we were once dead and now we are alive through Christ is the powerful part of the story. So, whether your story could be a soap opera, or you’ve been a fully devoted follower of Jesus your whole life, your story matters. God has done incredible things for you and through you. That’s worth telling others.
Three suggestions in sharing your story (because you have a story to tell and God does not want you to waste the hurt and the pain and problems you've had).
How do you share your story?
- Be humble. We're all in the same boat. We're all fellow strugglers. When you share your story, it’s like one beggar telling another beggar where to find bread. You're not saying, "I've got it all together," because you don't. You're progressing, not perfect.
- Be real. Be honest about your hurts and faults. I'm grateful to be a part of a church family where real people can share real problems and real solutions without feeling put down or feeling guilty about it.
- Don't lecture. Just share your story. God wants you to be a witness, not a defense attorney. You don't argue anybody into Heaven. You don't force anybody into Heaven. Just tell your story and the Good News of Jesus, and let God handle softening their hearts toward him.
The world is full of people who need your story and if you don't tell it, where are they going to hear it?
Acts 20:24 “But my life is worth nothing to me unless I use it for finishing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus—the work of telling others the Good News about the wonderful grace of God.”