16 As (Paul and Silas) were going to the place of prayer …
19 … they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace before the rulers.22 The crowd joined in attacking them, and the magistrates tore the garments off them and gave orders to beat them with rods. 23 And when they had inflicted many blows upon them, they threw them into prison, ordering the jailer to keep them safely.24 Having received this order, he put them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks.25 About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them.
Paul and Silas were going from city to city and synagogue to synagogue spreading the Good News of Jesus. Along the way, people in the town had significant resistance because it interfered with their way of life.
Paul and Silas were arrested, beaten, and jailed.
Even in jail, Paul and Silas worshiped God.
And those in the jail listened to them and heard their message.
Paul and Silas were doing what they knew they were supposed to be doing. They had waited for prompting from the Holy Spirit. They had confirmed with other leaders in the church. And they went out first to the places of the faithful.
In other words, they were doing everything right.
And, yet, they ended up assaulted, ridiculed, beaten and in jail.
Doing everything right does not assure everything going the way I want it to.
When results aren’t happening the way I think they should or expect them to, I am left with a big question:
“Will I trust God?”
Paul and Silas obviously did trust God.
They were in the middle of a terrible situation, but what were they doing? “Praying and singing hymns”.
They worshipped IN their circumstances, not BECAUSE OF they’re circumstances!
When do I praise God?
After a good thing happens in my life?
Or right in the middle of a bad thing happening?
Of course, there’s no wrong time to worship, but I have to remember to not exclude times to worship.
In fact, I need to worship in the middle of the bad, because this tells others something about who God is!
Anybody would praise when things are great!
Praising God when there is struggle makes the praise about who God is, not who I am.
And others notice this.
The prisoners listened to Paul and Silas.
Even the jailer comes to know Jesus!
This story starts by saying “Paul and Silas were going to a place of prayer ….”
They reached that place of prayer later than they expected … “around midnight” … and a different location than they expected … “the inner prison” …
But it was, indeed, a place of prayer … and became a place of salvation.
Thank you God for your word.
Thank you for those who pray and worship in difficult times to show me the example.
Help guide me Holy Spirit even when it difficult.
Help me hear you and obey you
In Jesus name