Luke 21:13
And it shall turn to you for a testimony.

No chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness. Concerning any course we take the question how it affects us now is not so important as is the question to what it leads, or, in the words of the text, "to what it turns." And while that which is very pleasant often "turns to" much that is painful and bitter, or even shameful (see Revelation 10:10), on the other hand, that which is very trying and even saddening at the time often "turns to" an issue that is full of honor and of joy. The context suggests that -

I. PERSECUTION TURNS TO TESTIMONY - to a most valuable proof of sincerity and faithfulness. When a man endures the blows and buffetings of the cruel hand of the persecutor, "we know the proof of him;" we write him down a true, loyal, noble servant of Christ. To how many men, not of the earliest age only but of all ages, has this steadfastness in the hour of trial been accepted by us as a "testimony" of the very greatest worth, so that their names are treasured by us as those of men that have done highest honor to their race! And their martyr-sufferings have turned to a testimony in the heavenly country; they have gained for them there the commendation of their Lord and the greeting of their glorified brethren. When, from "wandering in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth," the persecuted Christians of Madagascar came forth to be welcomed by those who were then living under a kindly rule, they were greeted as such faithful and heroic men deserved to be; their persecution had turned into a testimony. In a similar way we may say that -

II. TOIL TURNS INTO ACHIEVEMENT. The toil of the desk, of the field, of the shop, of the factory, may be hard and wearisome; our back may bend beneath our burden; our mind may be strained to its utmost capacity of continuance; but let us take courage and work on at our task; further on is the precious goal of achievement; after a while we shall look with unspeakable satisfaction on the work that has been done, the result that has been reached.

III. PRIVATION TURNS INTO ENRICHMENT. Sad and serious indeed are the privations, the losses, which are suffered when men are suddenly reduced in their temporal possessions, or when they are bereaved of near relatives or most intimate friends. Yet is there something more than compensation when the loss of the one leads, as it has often led, to the enrichment of the soul, by its finding refuge in God and in his service; or when the loss of the other has brought to the soul the fullness of the sympathy and friendship of Jesus Christ; privation has turned to enrichment.

IV. SERVICE TURNS INTO RULE. The soldier in the ranks becomes an officer of the army; the apprentice becomes the master; by long and faithful service in any one of the fields of human activity we prepare to rule. Thus is it in the spiritual realm. Obedience to Divine law turns into a perfect self-command, which is another name for liberty. And a lifelong service of Jesus Christ will turn to an occupancy of that heavenly sphere for which our fidelity shall have fitted us; the "faithful and wise servant" his Lord will "make ruler over all his goods" (Matthew 24:45-47). Faithful service here "turns to" happy and helpful rule hereafter.

V. PATIENT WAITING TURNS TO BLISSFUL PARTICIPATION. Some souls have much waiting for the hour of deliverance, for the redemption of our body; it is a weary and a trying time. To "learn to wait" is the hardest of all lessons. But though the night seem very long, the morning will come in time; and if the steadfast soul wait patiently the holy will of God, the long endurance shall turn to a full and joyous participation in the glory that is to be revealed - the "glorious liberty of the children of God." - C.

Parallel Verses
KJV: And it shall turn to you for a testimony.

WEB: It will turn out as a testimony for you.

The Testimony of Life
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