“Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine!
O what a foretaste of glory divine!
Heir of salvation, purchase of God
Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood”
Do you know the refrain of this great hymn by Fanny Crosby? It is a heartfelt response to the great salvation we have in Christ!
“This is my story, this is my song
Praising my Savior all the day long
This is my story, this is my song
Praising my Savior all the day long”
Recently, Oceans Retreat Center was blessed to have Jim Terpstra and Mike Verkaik out to do some remodeling. Their work was amazing and appreciated and reminded me of how God often needs to make changes or remodel our lives. He rearranges and reshapes our lives. He gives us a new song to sing to give Him praise for only what He could do.
Every Wednesday night a recovery group meets at ORC to study the book “Stepping through the Lord’s Prayer.” For two weeks we were blessed to have Jim leading, this was particularly meaningful since he contributed to the book with his testimony.
The group listened attentively as Jim “sang this powerful song” of praise to his Savior, a Savior who found him in the darkest night of his soul through addictions and lifted him out. Although Jim did not actually sing this melody to the group, his honesty opened up the room for the Holy Spirit to work in all of our hearts and give hope for the power of God to rescue the most desperate sinner from the grips of death and bring him into freedom in Christ. Truly, his life is a song of gratitude and part of his personal history.
There was a 17 year old young man at the meeting who wanted to hear more of “Jim’s song.” A few days later we gathered for lunch and “Jim’s song” continued and brought a powerful connection. Hearing more of Jim’s testimony gave the young man a boost of much needed encouragement on his own road of healing.
“Jim’s song” continued as we worshipped at the Gospel Outreach Church in Masi. During the Sunday service there is a precious time when the all the members of congregation are challenged to give a testimony. It is not uncommon to hear 10 or more people of all ages from five year olds to senior saints sharing what the Lord has done. Hearing portions of scripture, a song or a story of God’s mighty miracles of provision, help with school work, and of Jesus’ blessed assurance each and every Sunday is an incredible encouragement.
When you attend the Gospel Outreach Church visitors are warmly welcomed to the front to share their story. Jim’s honesty and sincerity about the battles and victories over his addiction offered hope to many. At the end of the service a church leader publicly thanked Jim and stated how it was good to be reminded that Africa is not the only place that is overcome with addictions. “Jim’s story” was a living testimony that there is hope in Jesus.
I challenge you to think of what your story may be. How is the Holy Spirit reshaping and remodeling you today? If you can sing from your heart, “Blessed assurance Jesus is mine!” You have a story to tell. Your story has power because it is about giving praise to your Savior who brought you out of the bondage of sin by His blood and brought you into the Kingdom of your loving Father by the Holy Spirit.
Somebody today needs to hear your story, your song of praise to your Savior for all He has and continues to do for you!
“Sing to the LORD, bless His name. Each day proclaim the good news that He saves. Publish His glorious deeds among the nations. Tell everyone about the amazing things He does. Great is the LORD! He is most worthy of praise!” Psalm 96:2-4