25 But about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God, and the prisoners were listening to them; 26 and suddenly there came a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison house were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were unfastened.27 When the jailer awoke and saw the prison doors opened, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, supposing that the prisoners had escaped. 28 But Paul cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Do not harm yourself, for we are all here!”29 And he called for lights and rushed in, and trembling with fear he fell down before Paul and Silas, 30 and after he brought them out, he said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”
For starters, I’m highly impressed that Paul and Silas were still awake at midnight. I would have been in my third dream by then. Secondly, I’m even more impressed that they were having an all out worship service in the middle of their prison cell at this hour…all joking aside…we can learn some valuable lessons in this passage.
I was touched to the core after reading this passage today. During seasons of trials, our human nature tends to offer security in self-pity and seclusion. However, we see both Paul and Silas doing quite the opposite – praising during their storm. Not only were they beaten with rods and imprisoned unfairly, they were also chained within the inner prison and guarded fiercely. I cannot fathom – honestly.
Yet, we are given a beautiful example of giving God the glory in all our circumstances – the good, the bad, and the ugly. Here, not only do we learn how to praise during the storms of life, we also learn a very valuable lesson in being Christ-like examples. In the passage above, we see that Paul and Silas were praying and singing…”and the prisoners were listening to them.” How many times do those around us listen to our complaints instead of words of praise when we are in valley? [Convicted-yes I am]
Paul and Silas demonstrated one of God’s greatest promises – He works all things for good for those who love Him.
In the midst of their storm, they praised!
In the midst of their storm, people listened!
In the midst of their storm, God arrived!
In the midst of their storm, they ministered!
In the midst of their storm, people were saved!
I have been challenged to be this kind of disciple for Christ. We do NOT want to miss an opportunity to minister, share, and deliver through our Savior Jesus Christ. May God receive all the honor and praise while we are on the mountaintops and while we are in the valleys. The lesson remains the same – people are always watching and listening. Our actions and words should remain consistent – always pointing to Christ.