Make a joyful shout to the Lord, all you lands! Serve the Lord with gladness; Come before His presence with singing. Know that the Lord, He is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.
Are you in tune with God? Just as a piano, guitar, or any other instrument needs to be in tune for the sound to be pleasant to the ear, so do our hearts need to be mended and binded together with God so that we are in tune to what he would have us do or say.
When I am going through the storms and trials of life I try to remember to, “make a joyful noise unto the Lord,” and to ” praise the Lord with gladness” (Psalm 100). Worship is such a big part of what it is to be a Christian. I believe when we truly just worship him with our voices and instruments there is power in the praises of his people. For example: When Paul was beaten and imprisoned he was praying and singing praises and then there was a sudden earthquake and the doors of the prison were open and his chains fell off.
But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were loosed (Acts 16:26).
There is nothing impossible for God (Luke 1:37). He is a God of miracles. He delights in the praises of his people and if can speak the universe into existence then he can surly save the righteous from harm. The story of Paul and Silas in prison speaks volumes to me. If it were me, I am sure I would be questioning my faith but Peter and Silas were singing and rejoicing. They felt compassion for the jailor who tried to kill himself thinking they had escaped so they assured him they were still there. Wow. This means they were overflowing with God’s goodness in there present circumstance. I am astonished that they would not be running out of that jail cell, but instead showed mercy to their jailor and the jailor immediately believed and asked what he needed to do to become saved. “Then he called for a light, ran in, and fell down trembling before Paul and Silas. And he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” (Acts 16: 30). In the mist of this victory for Paul and Silas God’s grace is poured out on this jailor who believed after these events unfolded and not only did he believe, but his whole family believed.
Maybe, this is the reason that God allowed them to be in jail and beaten. Through their trial God was working a far greater purpose–to save the jailor and his family. When we are going through a trial we do not know the reason or the outcome but God does! Isaiah 55:8 explains, “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord .We never know why we may be going through such trails. Often times when we are ministering to others and being used by God the enemy will attack. The reason Paul and Silas were imprisoned was because of spiritual warfare. For the bible tells us that…
We do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places (Ephesians 6:12).
Paul cast out a demon from a slave girl that was being used by her masters to gain money because she was “possessed by the spirit of divination.” In other words she was able to know the future and was a fortune teller for money. Whenever God’s work is being done the “principalities, powers, and spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places,” are at work trying to devise a plan to shut us down, discourage, block, or harm us. Although we never see this battle being fought, we often see the effects and can be at peace to know that the fight is not ours because “The Battle belongs to the Lord” (1 Samuel 17:47). You may be going through a hard time. You may have lost your job, suffered medical problems, have martial problems, or something else. But God, who is rich in mercy, who sent his only son to die on the cross for our sins, knows the beginning and the end of our story.
I am writing this for myself because I need to hear this, read this, and study this. I need hope because in the midst of my messy life and overwhelming circumstances I need to know there is a Savior that loves me and would break the prison doors open for me too, if I needed them to be broken.While I wait for this season of trial to end, I know this “All things work together for the good for those that are called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28), so I can let my burdens rest in his Hands by ” casting all my cares upon Him” because he cares for me and you too (1 Peter 5:7).
And remembering Peter’s and Silas story I will try my best to lift my head up to Heaven knowing that He is my Redeemer.