And the multitude rose up together against them: and the magistrates rent off their clothes, and commanded to beat them.
And when they had laid many stripes upon them, they cast them into prison, charging the jailor to keep them safely:
Who, having received such a charge, thrust them into the inner prison, and made their feet fast in the stocks.
And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them.
And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one's bands were loosed.
Let praise go first
What do you do in the midst of uncertainty?
What do you do when all hope is gone?
What do you do at the darkest moments of life?
What do you do when you don't know what to do?
The last of these four questions seem rhetorical. You don't know what to do and yet there is an expectation to do something. An action is needed but the fact is that you don't know. Perhaps you have experienced or are experiencing such difficult moments in life or you are yet to experience one.
Here, Paul and Silas were doing God's work. In fact they were led by the Holy Spirit to this particular region. Acts 16:7-9 'After they had come to Mysia, they tried to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit did not permit them. So passing by Mysia, they came down to Troas. And a vision appeared to Paul in the night. A man of Macedonia stood and pleaded with him, saying, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” They were in and doing the will of God so to say. And suddenly everything and everyone turned against them Acts 16:22. Suddenly, they found themselves 'laid with many stripes' (39 stripes according to the Romans at the time; they found themselves cast into prison with a guard in charge (their vision and dreams restricted, limited and confined); they found themselves thrust into the inner prison and their feet fastened with stocks (a point of no return, no movement and no escape). And to cap it all up, they were to be executed the following day....all these happened in a moment!
But notice something extraordinary happened in Acts 16:25. Paul and Silas, at the darkest moment of their life, career and ministry, they chose to pray and sing praises unto God. The scripture tells us they SANG PRAISES UNTO GOD. Wow! They did not murmur. They did not complain. They did not get offended with God, as they were led by the spirit to this region. They did not even sing to make themselves happy. They sang praises to God! Incredible! They sang praises to God in the PRISON with FRESH WOUNDS ON THEIR BACK....facing execution the day after.
But someone may ask, what was it to praise God for with fresh wounds on their backs. Paul and Silas simply praised and celebrated God for who He is. They praised and celebrated God's holiness, tender mercies and loving kindness, despite their situation. Psalms 56:4 buttresses this 'In God I will praise his word, in God I have put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me'. They praised the word. And this was key to the next verse in Acts 16:26 'And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one's bands were loosed'.
Suddenly a supernatural activity began to happen. An unusual unexplained activity began to happen, such that their prison doors were open. Everyone around them were liberated. Awesome, isn't it.
Perhaps, you may be in the midst of uncertainty right now!
Do you feel all hope is gone?
Are you experiencing a dark moment of life?
Are you where you don't know what to do?
Reach out right now in praise and celebrate God and keep praising Him. This is what to do in such situations, though there may not be any logical sense to it. There is supernatural activity already happening around you.
Believe and act upon Gods Word in praise and see Him work. Amen
Have a wonderful week and remain blessed.