As I was listening to the sermon in church this morning, I was reminded of a thought I had in my Bible reading this past November. I was reading in the book of Acts and had focused in on the story of Paul and Silas. They had just been severely beaten and thrown into the inner dungeon (maximum security in modern day terms). There was no way they were escaping. It was a dismal picture and seemingly hopeless and then something unexpected happens,
“25 And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them. 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. 27 And the keeper of the prison awaking out of his sleep, and seeing the prison doors open, he drew out his sword, and would have killed himself, supposing that the prisoners had been fled. 28 But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, Do thyself no harm: for we are all here. 29 Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas, 30 And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” (Acts 16:25-30 KJV)
Wow! Paul and Silas were in the midst of a hopeless situation but they made up their minds to pray and sing praises to God. And they didn’t do it silently but the Bible says that all the prisoners heard them. I can just imagine them pouring out their hearts to God. They stepped out in faith! And when they did, the Bible says that all of a sudden there was an earthquake and immediately Paul and Silas’ cell door opened and their chains fell off! Can you imagine! I would have loved to be in that worship service! Their praise opened the door for their deliverance and broke their chains of bondage. Not only that, but it started a chain reaction for everyone else in bondage around them! It says all the prison doors were opened and everyone’s chains were loosed! And to top it all off, the Bible says the jailer sought salvation! As if all this was not awesome enough, then the jailer cleans their wounds, feeds them, and the city official who placed them in jail apologized to them for beating them and imprisoning them. Talk about God turning the whole situation around! And it all started with Paul and Silas maintaining a heart of worship in the midst of a seemingly hopeless situation! Wow!
Are you facing a seemingly hopeless situation? Do you feel defeated and discouraged? Whatever trial you may be facing, I want to encourage you to maintain a heart of worship. We must understand that our praise in the midst of a trial just might be what brings about our deliverance and freedom. We must purpose in our minds to pray and praise! And not just half-heartedly but we must give it all we’ve got so that others will hear and see our offering of worship to God; just like the other prisoners heard Paul and Silas. Even if we don’t feel it and we can’t see a way out, we have to step out in faith! Oh my friend and when we do, that’s when the miraculous will happen. The “foundations of our prison” or the things on which our trial is founded upon will be shaken and deliverance and freedom will emerge. A way will appear where there was seemingly no way! And the most amazing part is, it could have a chain reaction and those suffering and in bondage around us could receive their deliverance and freedom too! Ultimately, people could be saved as a result; just like the jailer! All because we purposed in our minds to maintain a heart of worship in the midst of a trial. Praise God!
These past few years we have faced the trial of infertility. As each day goes by, I am seeing that how I handle my trial can be a testimony to those around me. I can be a beacon of hope and encouragement to those who are weak and hurting and facing difficult trials of their own. As I let those around me see into my trial, see how I’m handling it, see my worship, and see my vocalized faith in God, maybe, just maybe, I can impact a life. Maybe, I can praise my way through to healing and cause a chain reaction for healing, deliverance, breakthrough, victory, and freedom for those around me who need it. This trial is hard and painful and full of ups and downs but I pray in Jesus’ name that it can be used to the glory of God to bring about freedom and deliverance for many!
Whoever may be reading this today, I am praising not only for me, but for your deliverance and freedom!