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. 
- Tertullian   

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.