Do you ever feel like the weight of the world is on your shoulders? I’ve been there and I’m sure we all have at one time or the other. During those times it can be difficult to keep a positive outlook. There doesn’t seem to be an answer in sight. We may have hope for a brief period of time, but when we take our eyes off of God and put them on the problem, we may experience a downward spiral.
We all know that God does not want us to live like that! In fact it’s quite the opposite. When we really take a look at our lives and compare the hardships with the blessings, I think we will all agree that the good far outweighs the bad. Even when things seem to be out of control, we will learn that God has it. We can trust him; we can depend on him. I’ve learned I don’t always get everything I want, but experience tells me that God knows what is best for me. He loves me with an everlasting love, and if I will just hold on, He will work it out….whatever “it” happens to be at the time.
When reading Acts 16:25-31 we see that Paul and Silas seem to be in dire straits. The duo was severely beaten, then they were shackled and chained in the deepest, darkest part of a prison. Sometimes our lives may feel like we are shackled, chained and imprisoned with the circumstances of our lives. What do we do when life happens? My hope is that we will closely look at the actions of these men, and let it be a formula for us when everything seems to be going wrong.
It was midnight and these guys were praying, singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening. Suddenly there was an earthquake and the very foundations of the prison were shaken. The doors flew open and everyone’s chains came loose. First, let us take notice that other people were watching and listening to how the men of God would act under the circumstances. Paul and Silas looked beyond their current situation and kept their minds on Almighty God.
The jailer woke up and saw what had happened and he was about to kill himself when Paul shouted that all the prisoners were still in custody. Notice they men did the right thing even though worldly people may attest. “Why didn’t they run when they had a chance?” This wasn’t about the prisoners really, it was a about a jailer who needed a personal relationship with the Lord. Before all was said and done, the jailer and his household was saved. Once the citizens heard of what happened, Paul and Silas were set free.
First we see that Paul and Silas praised God during their storm of life. Next, they continued to be an example for those around them. Finally, they continued to honor God by doing the right thing and used their difficulty to reach people for the kingdom.
What a difference a little time can make? What a great difference it makes when we praise the Lord, worship the Lord, and keep our eyes on Him no matter what is going on in our lives. This is just another example that lets us know…….hang on to the Lord, keep the faith, and God will work it out every time.