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Exploring the Power of a Testimony in Christian Fiction

Christian Fiction and Testimonies

 
And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.
Revelation 12:11 KJV
 

If you grew up as a Christian in Nigeria, you likely know the catchphrase “testimony time, overcomer’s time.” I believe this was coined from the first half of Revelation 12:11.

If like me, you also grew up in a Nigerian church, you know the session almost always and typically (tautology intended) began with, “I thank God for the salvation of my soul”. That was if the minister anchoring the testimony session was strict. If he was liberal, you probably witnessed people bursting out into their favourite praise/thanksgiving choruses before thanking God for the blessing He had bestowed on them. Blessings along the lines of a safe delivery, a new job, a promotion, journey mercies, divine protection, and, if you were like the five-year-old me, healing from a nasty case of cold and catarrh. This sent the church into a bout of laughter, making me wonder if my testimony was too unserious for the big church (adult church) people.

But before I go any further, let’s answer the burning question.

What on earth is a testimony?

I had to break out my 8th Edition Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary from where it was languishing without both covers and missing letters X, Y and Z and from a to article. 
Sorry, the younger me wasn't a good keeper of books

Testimony: A testament to the existence of something

Testimony, as defined by the OALD, is a thing that shows that something else exists or is true. Synonym: testament.
The second definition is a formal written/spoken statement saying what you know to be true, usually in court.

A thing that shows that something else exists or is true.

Testimonies, in my opinion, are to show that something exists or is true. They could be to show that God indeed heals five-year-olds of cold and catarrh or that God can provide you with a new job. But even much more, I believe testimonies can show just how good God is to a man who is frail and broken. I have talked about the brokenness of man in a previous post, but let me clarify.

God is good (Mark 10:18) and He is perfection and wholeness. In Him is no darkness at all. In contradistinction, man is broken. He has been since the fall and the advent of sin in this world. We are broken people living in a broken world. But God the compassionate Father longs to restore man to His original design, hence the plan of salvation. However, man remains broken even after the new birth. He remains in his soul and body, striving with the help of the Holy Spirit to become as perfect as the One who adopted him. (Matthew 5:48)

How does this tie into testimonies?

I’m getting there. God isn’t a distant observer in our journeys toward restoration. He is very much present, and little by little, He fixes the broken pieces of us together.

So maybe I struggled with sexual sin before giving my life to Christ. I don’t magically become immune to sexual sin after the new birth. God works in us to will and to do His will. When God heals me of the brokenness that is my vulnerability to sexual sin, I have a testimony. I can be a thing that shows that God exists as a healer of sexually broken people. Now, this testimony should not be hidden or tucked away in shame. Testimonies are to be shared to give people hope and faith and remind them of who God exists as.

Christian fiction and testimonies

Dear reader, your words have the power to comfort and heal broken people. And I’ve found this beautifully done in Christian fiction.

Through Christian fiction, I have learned that God loves the sexually broken – Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers

Through Christian fiction, I have learned that God can mend broken families – The Chance by Karen Kingsbury

Through Christian fiction, I have learned that God can help you keep the faith in a strange land – A Voice in the Wind by Francine Rivers

Through Christian fiction, I have learned that God can turn the heart of Muslims to Him – The First Love Series by Tope Omotosho

Through Christian fiction, I have learned that God has plans for you in your waiting season – A Ray of Hope by Emike Osumah 

Through Christian fiction, I have learned that God can restore cracked marriage – An Emotional Affair by Ufuomaee 

Through Christian fiction, I have learned that God desires intimacy with you even when you have a warped view of Him – Church Girl by Precious Obasi

Through Christian fiction, I have learned that God is sovereign in good times and in tragedy – The One Who Knows Me by Joan Embola

I have learned, or, in this case, I wanted to show, that God can save anyone despite their past and that He doesn’t condemn those he saves in my debut novel, Love’s Direction. In my book, Love’s Beacon, I wanted to show that God can be trusted through heartache, disappointments, and waiting.

Testimonies have power

Your words and your testimonies have power. They can be an encouragement a soul needs. They can be the faith booster a weary heart is dying for. So, if you’re a Christian, never shy away from sharing your testimonies. If you’re a Christian fiction writer/author, don’t be afraid to share testimonies through your stories. And if you’re a reader who believes Christian fiction is all fluff with perfect characters, I beg you to read any of the books I mentioned and behold the awesome and encouraging testimonies in them.

Song recommendations

If you’re like me and you enjoy music, here are a few song recommendations that relate to the power of testimonies:

– The Story I’ll Tell by Maverick City Music and Naomi Raine
– I Testify by Ada Ehi
– Tell The World by Lecrae ft. Mali Music
– The One He Speaks Through by Mandisa

I hope this post encouraged you. Let me know if you’ve read any of these books and which Christian fiction books and/or songs on testimonies you love.

Till next time, stay blessed!

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