As I was doing my bible study in the book of Acts, I came to a familiar passage of scripture. I’ve read this particular account several times in the past but this time the Lord took me a little deeper. He made it personal.
That’s what I love about studying God’s word. Reading the bible is great but when we take the time to reflect upon it and respond to it, the Lord reveals things to us that we’ve never seen before and the results are life-changing.
Acts 16:16-34 tells us about Paul and Silas being stripped, beaten, and thrown into prison for casting an evil spirit out of a girl who made a lot of people a lot of money by predicting the future.
Paul and Silas were accused of being trouble makers and advocating unlawful customs. Their response to false accusations, beatings, and imprisonment was to worship God.
At midnight while in pain, shackles, and chains, Paul and Silas were worshipping the Lord. What??? That baffles me!
What was the result of their worship in the face of pain and opposition? There was a violent earthquake. The prison was shaken, the prison doors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose.
Notice, not only did Paul and Silas’ chains come loose and their prison door opened but all the prisoners were set free.
The jailer had been asleep but was awakened by all the commotion. When he saw that the prison doors were open he was going to kill himself. But Paul shouted, “Don’t harm yourself! We are all here!”
Did the jailer order that all the prisoners be locked back up? No! Instead, his response was to fall at the feet of Paul and Silas trembling and ask, “What must I do to be saved?”
The jailer had recognized that the whole incident was an act of God.
Paul and Silas’ answer to the jailer’s question was, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, then you and your household will be saved.” The Jailer took them to his house, Paul and Silas spoke God’s word to the jailer and his family, they were all saved and baptized that same day. The jailer treated Paul and Silas’ wounds and then they all shared a meal together.
Wow! God really turned that whole situation around. It was a miracle! Not only for Paul and Silas but for the other prisons, the jailer, and his whole family.
Worshipping God is a catalyst for miracles.
Today, in America, we may not face beatings and imprisonment because of our belief in Jesus (many Christians around the world do) but we do face other types of pain and opposition.
Some of us are ostracized in our homes or workplaces due to our beliefs. Or maybe even fired from our jobs or divorced by our spouse. We may even be abandoned by our closest friends.
Some of us are taken to court for our stand on God’s word or our spiritual and moral convictions. Maybe we are laughed at and mocked for our faith in Christ. Pain and opposition come in all shapes and sizes. We could even be experiencing physical pain.
But, this passage in Acts 16 gives us hope for what the results could be if we respond to pain and opposition with worship.
Think of the lives that could be affected around us and our own when we live a life of worship no matter what hardships we face.
When Paul and Silas worshipped while they were bloodied and in pain, shackled and chained in the middle of a prison, people were set free.
People were convicted of their sin and brought to their knees in repentance and set free from slavery to sin. Whole families were saved. Lives were completely transformed.
As the Lord was revealing these things to me, I asked myself, “Do I worship when I am in the midst of pain or opposition?” And, “Do I notice the open doors to share the good news about Jesus in the midst of my pain or opposition?” How would you answer those questions for yourself?
The Lord can do amazing things and turn things completely around for our good, the good of others, and for His glory. He’s just waiting on us to give the right response to our pain and opposition. He’s waiting for us to worship Him!
Have you ever experienced positive results of worshipping God in the midst of your pain or opposition? Could you share your experience with us so we can be encouraged and praise God with you? Share in the comments below.
Thank you and God bless you!
Dear God, I know I am a sinner, and I ask for Your forgiveness. I believe Jesus Christ is Your Son. I believe that He died for my sin and that You raised Him to life. I want to trust Him as my Savior and follow Him as Lord, from this day forward. Guide my life and help me to do Your will through the power of Your Holy Spirit. I pray this in the name of Jesus. Amen.