A Word for Today | Acts 16:25-31
How powerful it is when believers in Christ show their faith in afflictions by singing to the Lord with great joy! Perhaps the best example is seen in Acts 16, after the apostle Paul and his helper Silas had been arrested in Philippi. The two evangelists had been accosted and beaten with rods and then thrown into a prison cell. We are told that in the cell their feet were put in the stocks. We can imagine few so distressing situations, as Paul and Silas suffered a confinement far worse than our coronavirus isolation. So how did they respond? Acts 16:25 makes a brief but so very significant note: “About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God.” What an example these suffering servants of Christ set for us! They understood that trouble and anxiety is precisely the time for believers to offer the highest praise to our all-sufficient Savior!
Armed with this example, Christians should look on our present health emergency as a rare opportunity to glorify our Savior before the world. Let me encourage all of us to be cheerful during these days of anxiety – not the good cheer of a phony spirituality but of hearts that know that the Lord will be with us in our trial. If we find ourselves cast down in anxiety, let us remember with Paul and Silas that we have a sovereign, loving, and faithful Lord who rules over heaven and earth. Let us therefore sing to Him – in our hearts, our homes, and our live-stream worship services – knowing that the praise we offer now will be of special value both to God and to the world
Two things happened when Paul and Silas, with their bruised bodies and pitiful confinement, prayed and sang with joy to the Lord. First, the Lord responded in power. Acts 16:26 says: “Suddenly there was an earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken.” If there is ever a time when God moves with power through our witness, it is in times like we face today! Our faith, prayers, and praise will shake up the world around us! Second, when the earthquake caused the prison doors to open, the jailer realized that God was at work and asked the all-important question: “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” (Acts 16:30). Paul gave him the answer we may give to people today who newly realize their need for God: “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household” (Acts 16:31). Do we believe that God can and will do this today? Let’s believe in His mighty power, pray and sing with joy amidst our pandemic, and trust that God will shake the world and cause many to be saved.
In Christ’s Love,