Acts 16:25 “And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them.”
It amazes me that Paul and Silas can pray and sing praises at a time like this.
They had just been beaten, accused and locked in the inner prison. In Bible times, this was a place where the city’s sewerage ran through. Smelly, dark, and dank. Yet, after all they had been through, they prayed and sang praises.
I think I would be complaining to God about the lot He had chosen for me instead of praising Him. Their perspective was different to be sure. Often, we allow our circumstances and situations dictate our mood and demeanor. We vacillate between happy, sad, angry, and whatever emotion grips us at the time.
Others are able to outwardly control their responses to others, but inwardly they are struggling. The thing I see more clearly now, is that these men were under the control of the Holy Spirit. They did not allow the situation control them or outside pressure to move them from what God had for them.
We wonder what we would do in their situation. I think that if we cannot handle the smaller situations with grace, mercy, and Spirit-fulness, God will not allow us to go through what we clearly could not handle.
1 Corinthians 10:13 “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”
The temptation here is similar to trial. If you truly believe that God is Sovereign, the trials we are allowed to go through are ordained of God. The discernment between what is self-inflicted and what is from God is not what we will mention here. Suffice it to say that we must be able to distinguish the difference or run the risk of falsely accusing God of something He did not do.
Paul and Silas knew that this was something God had allowed into their life. They also knew that He desired to get the glory through what happened and how they handled the situation and circumstance.
We often get too busy to think clearly about what it is we are facing. We want to handle it and get it off of our radar as quickly as possible. Some things linger long enough to make us have to process the situation a bit more.
Prayer and receiving from God our instruction as to what to do, where to go, what to say, or just how to handle what trial has come, should be our ‘go to.’
Technology is stealing our ability to think clearly. Meditation is not some Eastern mysticism ritual we acquire by being quiet. True biblical meditation is actively thinking on a truth; communicating with God about what to do or how to proceed.
We get easily frustrated when things don’t go our way, or our path seems hindered by some unwanted, or unexpected activity. How we handle what comes at us will determine what we show the world is Christ in us or just how worldly we’ve become.
God allows trials to make us more like His Son. They are not there to punish, or correct. You will know if what has come is God’s hand of correction.
James 1:2-4 “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.”
Music has power. It can incite a crowd to riot or calm them. It can speak to our hearts like no other medium. It bypasses many of our filters to teach us truth. It can also be the expression of our hearts toward God.
Next time a trial comes, ask God to help you to sing your way through it. It may surprise you just what happens!