About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them.
Thoughts for Today:I find it so encouraging that, having just been falsely accused, flogged, stripped naked, beaten some more, then thrown in prison -- Paul and Silas' response is to sit on the floor of their jail cell (they had to sit because their feet were in stocks) praying and singing hymns to God so loud the other prisoners could hear. This is a true picture of faith as expressed in Hebrews 11:1, "Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see." It is from this position of certainty that Paul and Silas are able to praise the Lord despite their predicament.
An interviewer once asked renowned evangelist Billy Graham, "You have said that you think it's important to be still for a few minutes each day, and that it's important also not to take yourself too seriously. Why?" Mr. Graham replied, "Many centuries ago God said through the psalmist, 'Be still, and know that I am God' (Psalm 46:10). Why did he say this? The reason, I'm convinced, is because we get so busy and so wrapped up in ourselves that we forget God. We begin to think we are the center of the universe instead of God, and we begin acting as if He didn't even exist. Yet nothing is more spiritually and morally dangerous."
Sometimes we can find it difficult each day to park our ambition, worries, and interests long enough to "be still and know that I am God." Having a set time each day to study, pray and meditate helps a lot (mine is first thing in the morning). What then happens when a crisis occurs? We return to our source of certainty. It wasn't a fluke or the first time that Paul and Silas had turned to God -- it was their natural response. They didn't know how things would turn out in this particular circumstance, but they trusted God regardless. Despite being bruised, battered, and locked in a prison cell, Paul and Silas were the picture of faith, praying and singing hymns to God, fully at rest in the Lord.
Questions to Ponder:Do you find it easy to rest in the Lord in your times of crisis? Do you spend time in prayer and worship when you are confused and uncertain about your future? If so it is probably because you have built your faith one day at a time through prayer, study and meditation on God's Word. If your first response is not to "Be still and know that I am the Lord," could it be that perhaps you need to spend more time each day with God?