08 Mar From Jailed to Joy-Filled
Read Acts 16:16-40 (NLT)
Thought for the Day: Every day we have a choice!
The Apostle Paul and his friend Silas arrived at the city of Phillipi hoping to start a revival and lead many people to faith in Jesus. Instead of having their message of hope warmly welcomed, Paul and Silas faced opposition. First, they were accused and charged with disturbing the city. Next, they were brutally beaten in the public square. Finally, Paul and Silas were taken to the local jail where they were humiliated and their feet fastened in stocks.
Before they arrived at Phillipi, neither Paul nor Silas sat down and said, “What we would really like is to not be successful but instead get beaten and thrown in jail.” They had every intention of succeeding. But instead, they ended up in jail.
Imagine arriving in a new place with a specific goal. Then think of facing the kind of opposition Paul and Silas faced. We would most likely feel humiliated and defeated. But the writer of Acts doesn’t describe either man this way. Instead, we are told that even from within the jail, “About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them.” Instead of focusing on how awful it was in jail, Paul and Silas were joy-filled and loudly sang hymns of praise to God!
When we face obstacles, do we focus on the negative or the opportunity to serve God? Let’s learn from the lesson of Paul and Silas, two Christians who had every right to be upset and frustrated. Their story reminds us that we can always choose joy! When life makes no sense, let’s remember this and, instead of going to a dark place, let’s learn to trust God.
Pastors Stan and David