Acts 16:25 - Persecution And Suffering Are No Match For Prayer And Singing. (updated)
Acts 16:25 - Persecution And Suffering Are No Match For Prayer
And Singing. (updated)
Acts 16:25 (KJV) And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang
praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them.
Stripped, beaten, placed in stocks, and locked in an inner
cell in a prison--Paul and Silas had every reason to moan about their
unfortunate situation. Amazingly, they did not. Why? Because of the joy that
Jesus had given them.
Joy is not the same as happiness. You will feel happy when
everything is going well in life; but not so happy when the car needs
repairs, the bank account is overdrawn, or the medical report is not
good. You may not be happy, but you can still be joyful. Joy comes
from deep within, from the knowledge that ultimately God is in
control of all that occurs in your life and he will help you through it.
Jesus promised his followers: "I have told you these things so
that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow!"
(John 15:11, May 26). When you are saved, you are given a well of joy
deep within that can never run dry. Even more, that joy bubbles up
like a fountain and overflows to everyone around you. Just as Paul
and Silas's joyful response in prison impacted the other prisoners
and the jailer, so you can impact others. [The One Year Bible for
New Believers re Acts 16:25]
Your joy as a Christian should not depend on your
circumstances. Joy comes from God, and therefore it cannot be affected by what
is outside of you. Don't be fooled into letting the actions of
others determine your joy. True joy comes from knowing that God Himself
lives within you and has fellowship with you, regardless of your
environment. Real joy lies in the knowledge that holy God has completely
forgiven you of every sin, and even now, He has a home prepared in heaven
where you can spend eternity with Him (John 14:3). The circumstances
of your life cannot change these truths!
Paul and Silas faced some of the most difficult circumstances
imaginable. They were falsely accused, arrested, and imprisoned. They were
beaten and shackled in the darkest, coldest section of the prison. But
they refused to allow their horrific situation to dampen their joy!
They did not blame God for allowing these things to happen to them.
Instead, they praised Him for His goodness! In the darkness of the night,
they prayed and they sang. God brought a miracle that released them
from their chains, but perhaps the greater miracle was that His Holy
Spirit could so fill them that even in their painful imprisonment they
could overflow with joy!
Do not allow difficult events to cancel the joy of knowing you
are a child of God. Choose to allow God's Spirit to fill you with
His unquenchable joy, and your life will be a miracle to those who
watch you face the trials that come. [Experiencing God Day by Day by
Henry and Richard Blackaby re Acts 16:25]
Though your situation may feel overwhelming, are you willing to
trust God in your circumstances? Do you believe that no problem is
beyond His power? As you allow God to conduct the symphony of your
life, you will see Him shaking your own prisons. Will you, like Paul
and Silas, lift up your voice to herald the coming victory? [Life
Principles SB by Charles Stanley re Acts 16:24-34]
If you cannot rejoice in your circumstances, you can always
rejoice in the Lord who controls your circumstances. Fix your attention
on Him. [Warren Wiersbe re Phil. 3:1]
The legs feel nothing in the stocks when the heart is in heaven.
Happiness Come And Goes; Joy Comes And Grows. [Randy Roberts]
Great Sermon on this text and topic located at:
Scroll down to sermon: Thanksgiving @ Midnight
then click on free MP3.