O give thanks unto the LORD, for he is good; for his mercy endureth forever. Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, whom he hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy.
Psalm 107.1-2 (KJV)
What Has He Done for You?
Christianity is a personal faith, an endless bolt of fabric cut to fit millions of unique patterns. While the weave, texture, and hue provide consistency within its ranks, no two believers look exactly alike. This has less to do with individual style (though that plays into it) than form—distinct aspirations, needs, and experiences that shape each of us. We follow Christ for different reasons, we serve Him differently, and we experience His power and love differently.
Because of this, Christianity is also a mysterious faith. It fundamentally offers the same things to all—forgiveness, redemption, acceptance, love, hope, peace, confidence, and so on—yet its impact and meaning vary profoundly from person to person. How this works can’t be explained. Why, however, seems fairly simple. Regardless of age, background, or upbringing, we all come to Christ mid-story. Therefore, He changes us specifically to suit our situations. He rewrites our narratives, giving each of us a story unlike any other, a story we should be eager tell if asked, “What has He done for you?”
Still, discussing our faith makes many of us uncomfortable. Instead of describing discrete (personal) aspects of our walk with Christ, we prefer to be discreet (private) about what He’s done for us. This is understandable to some extent because it involves a degree of self-disclosure we’d rather not delve into, particularly with casual acquaintances. Oddly enough, it seems that believers whose lives are radically transformed after coming to Christ are more apt to tell their personal stories than those whose struggles are less, well, melodramatic. We’ve all heard tremendous accounts of indisputably divine interventions—narrow escapes, rescues from addictions, event reversals too miraculous to be written off as coincidences, etc. Yet how often do we hear stories about how someone’s faith enabled him/her to overcome jealousy, say, or boastfulness or intolerance?
Why don’t we tell how God’s mercy redeems us from these “little” problems? Maybe we consider them too minor. (Although they’re not.) Maybe we’re embarrassed. Maybe we honestly believe we handled them ourselves. But here’s the long and short of it. God has done marvelous things for us and we can’t be shy about telling others. We set personal discomfort aside for the sake of letting them know He can and will do similarly wondrous things for them. We may not like doing it, but love for our neighbors compels us to.
It’s good for them to hear our stories and what’s more, it’s good for us, too. Revelation 21.11 says we will overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony. Telling of God’s goodness is strong talk. It forces us to flex muscles we might otherwise neglect. First, it reminds us He’s the central character in our stories; His love and mercy drive the plot and determine the outcomes. Second, it inspires gratitude; how can we explain all He’s done for us without offering up thanks? Third, it reinforces our faith; when we tell others how far we’ve come, it increases our confidence that His grace is sufficient for whatever we face now and in the future. And finally, it just feels terrific to explain how much God loves us, how He works in and through us, how He watches over us—all that great stuff that comes from an accepting, forgiving Parent.
Give thanks to the Lord, the Psalmist wrote, because He’s good. His love never fails. He has redeemed us—paid the price to restore us to our rightful place as His people—and we shouldn’t hesitate one minute about saying so. (When I read this, I almost hear the Psalmist say, “Now that’s what I’m talking about!”) What has God done for you? Speak up. Somebody you know needs to hear your story and you need to tell it. Say so.
If God has done anything for us, we should never hesitate to say so.