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Can testimonies about God become outdated?

Share a testimony that happened recently or in the last year… – this or a similar sentence usually confuses me. Often, the testimony that comes to mind first is older than the one experienced in the last year.

Why, when asking for testimonies about God, do you have to hear a specified time period? Is this how we indicate that testimonies can become outdated? Are we looking for evidence from recent events to confirm to ourselves that God still hasn’t changed? Or are we giving a hint that we want to hear something new, unprecedented?

What was once experienced may be just a story for “someone from the outside”, but not for a person who has lived through it. For those who witnessed what happened, it is not a story, but a memory. Can experience become outdated? What about the Bible and its centuries-old testimonies, through which we still gain new knowledge today?

“I know that everything God does will last forever, it can neither be added nor taken away – God has done it so that they fear Him. What has been, is again; what will be, has already been – and God looks after the past!”

Ecclesiastes 3:14-15

No. And for that, the best example is the Bible – that is still read and it is full with testimonies about God’s work. And also in history it is possible to read about a lot of God’s testimonies in person’s life.

– Anna Dobele

In short, the answer would be yes and no. Why? Yes, testimonies about God never get old… In such a way that we – today’s people – read so many testimonies in the Bible about how God has worked in the lives of people of the Old Testament, in the lives of people of the New Testament. There are apostle Paul, Peter, and other people. Because they are still living testimonies that speak to people. And we receive blessings from it. And also, in our own lives there are very strong testimonies where God has once worked in a wonderful way. I myself have already testified a lot – both about how, when I was a little boy (I didn’t go to school yet), the Lord saved me because I could have drowned. And also, when I was in the army, I was protected from going to war in Afghanistan. And there are so many such testimonies. So that I say: yes, indeed, testimonies about God do not get outdated… But there is one BUT… Sometimes, when we invite people to witness about God in churches, it is that one part of people stops at some old things… And then they say: yes, well, so many years ago God called me, and I responded, and there were such and such blessings. But if people only emphasize that, then the question is: what is God doing in your life today? Why don’t you have such a fresh testimony about what God did for you today or yesterday in your family? Do you just not see them? Has something happened in your relationship with God? I think we should thank God for what He has done. Because the Bible says: count the blessings and do not forget the good that God has done. And some of those blessings that we once had in our lives would definitely help people today. But if we only emphasize and also only talk about what God has done in the past, then maybe someone who comes to our service will listen and they will have a question: dear friends, you see, once upon a time God worked, but what about today? Why don’t you have a new testimony, a fresh testimony that happened very recently?

– Edgars Šneiders

A testimony is like God’s seal in a person’s life. Like any story, it can fade from our memories over the years. While it is fresh in the memory, the story is more “alive”, filled with brighter emotions and experiences. The testimony could remain “alive” longer if it were written down sooner.

– Rihards Germans

What in the world can get old? Almost everything created by God through human hands. Beautiful buildings that have been built brick by brick, stone by stone, sooner or later begin to crumble, and they need restoration. Technology becomes obsolete not only by years, but even by days. Art created by human hands – painter Purvitis’ paintings are a legacy that my grandmothers’ and parents’ generation now know. Songs written by people, even Christian songs that were sung 20 years ago, are rarely “highlighted” in churches anymore, and if they are, they are given a new arrangement. What was fashionable a few years ago is no longer relevant today, so the list could go on and on. Almost everything has an “expiration date,” but does God? God says in His Word: “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end”. Thus, God does not have a beginning and an end set by people! And if there is neither a beginning nor an end, then God is eternal, and eternity cannot grow old. Did God work less 200 years ago than today? No! Does God work less today than yesterday? No! Without telling the number of the year, month, and day, can any story become outdated? No! Every story has a time of happening. Only we ourselves either highlight that time span as very important or, on the contrary, insignificant, therefore it is only ourselves who can turn the testimony into an old fairy tale or story. However, God’s work is constant and can be highlighted every day, even if it happened 200 years ago. God’s work cannot be expressed by the phrase “long, long ago God gave me…” No, God did then, God is doing now, and will do tomorrow. Grant, God, that Your work in us is also a living testimony every day. Even if we don’t see Your work today, then let us notice that yesterday, and even a month, and a year ago, You were the same as today – real and true!

– Vivita Kalniņa

No and yes! Testimonies don’t really get old, because every time I hear or read a testimony, it is for encouragement, edification and also for the glory of God. But I say that it can also get old. If a Christian is telling the same old testimonies all the time, then something is really wrong. Because the Spirit of God is always at work, the testimonies must be new all the time. Therefore, testimonies can grow old if we share the old testimonies in our lives, but in general testimonies are new each time we give glory to God.

– Gunta Grīna – Sologuba

A testimony to me is a person’s or my sharing of an experience with the living God. A testimony describes an event or occurence where the presence of God was experienced or His power at work recognized in a difficult moment. A testimony helps the listener to hear of the recognition of God’s reality in the speaker’s life therefore to me testimonies can never get old. The testimonies of the early Christians, Middleage Christians and todays believers do not belong on a timeline. They were real when they happened and noone can change that or make it less valid. To me testimonies are a very important encouragement and reminder to all who have the opportunity to hear or read them.

As for a testimony from me. Each day is usually filled with the conscious presence of God and His work in me. I must confess though that in hindsight I had started to take God for granted and it took much more focusing on God’s reality in my everyday without the physical presence of church and worship services. I have not been able to physically attend worship all summer and the many lockdowns and restrictions the past few years had taken its toll. Finally, a few weeks ago, I decided that with God’s help I could climb the stairs to the Sanctuary. During the service, specifically during the prayer time an incredibly strong feeling of gratefulness overtook me. Gratefulness that Christ has given us the Church, a place to come together as His children and worship together

and a great sadness for all of the Christians who now replaced their physical attendance with zoom or kept fooling themselves that they are not giving up on church and would return at some point. I wanted to shout and tell them they are missing so very much of their faith growth.

Since that was not a reality I prayed with a heavy heart for them. Prayed that they too would again experience the joy and strength from regular physical attendance. Let us all pray that those who have forgotten and filled their lives with other activities are led back to the church.

Praise be to God for His infinite patience and forgiveness!

– Gita Medne