Wednesday, March 18, 2009

In the Night

"The crowd joined in the attack against Paul and Silas, and the magistrates ordered them to be stripped and beaten. After they had been severely flogged, they were thrown into prison, and the jailer was commanded to guard them carefully. Upon receiving such orders, he put them in the inner cell and fastened their feet in the stocks.

About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everybody's chains came loose. The jailer woke up, and when he saw the prison doors open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself because he thought the prisoners had escaped. But Paul shouted, 'Don't harm yourself! We are all here!'

The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas. He then brought them out and asked, 'Sirs, what must I do to be saved?'

They replied, 'Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.' Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in his house. At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his family were baptized. The jailer brought them into his house and set a meal before them; he was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God—he and his whole family."
Acts 16:22-34 NLT

This passage of scripture amazes me, because it speaks about the power of God's grace in our darkest hour. Paul and Silas were imprisoned. Not because of any crime they had committed. They were imprisoned because they, through the power of the Holy Spirit, released a slave girl from demonic possession. Her owners were mad at the two men and had them imprisoned.

Unjustly imprisoned, beaten, and in pain, Paul and Silas do something amazing. In the midnight hour, when all hope seems to be lost, they praised God! Can you picture it? Open wounds, dirty prison cell, taunts from fellow prisoners, and a bleak future. Yet, the two men sing songs of praise. The result was a mighty witness to the power of God. Not only were Paul and Silas released from prison, the prison guard and his family were released from the prison of sin and death.

How do we respond when life seems to be going from bad to worse? Do we complain? Are we filled with fear, anger and hopelessness? Remember, God is not bound by our circumstances. He is the God who does miracles in our darkest hour.

No comments:

Post a Comment