About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. – Acts 16:25
Paul and Silas sat in a dark prison cell, their feet in stocks.
Their backs burned with pain from the beatings they received earlier. While other prisoners were charged with such crimes as murder and theft, Paul and Silas were in prison because they preached about Jesus Christ. They stood for truth and now sat in darkness.
At midnight, Paul and Silas lifted their voices in praise to God. Instead of groaning about their circumstances, they sang songs to the One who gave them life. I wish I could have heard their songs. I didn’t hear them, but their fellow prisoners did. I’m sure the prisoners had varied opinions of the midnight song service. Some probably wished Paul and Silas would shut up. Others perhaps sensed the presence of God. Many were probably amazed these two men could sing praises while in the midst of suffering.
What do we do in the midst of suffering? Too often, we grumble and complain when our circumstances are difficult. When I first needed to use a ventilator to breathe, I gave up on God and partially blamed Him for my condition. I didn’t understand that the Lord did not cause my pain, but rather He wanted to comfort me in my trials. Now I can sing praises in hard times because I know God is my Comforter.
Where are your songs of praise? Are they only heard in church on Sunday mornings? Are they only heard when times are good? Or do you sing praises no matter how difficult your circumstances may be?
When we have joy in times of hardship, our lives can be a testimony to those around us … a testimony of God’s presence and His comforting love. Praise Him!