In Acts chapter 16, Paul and Silas commanded an evil spirit to come out of a girl, who was a fortune teller. And at the name of Jesus, the evil spirit left her. Her bosses realized their hope of making money was gone. So they grabbed Paul and Silas and dragged them to the authorities in the public square. They said, “These men are stirring up a lot of trouble in our city!” Even the crowd joined in on the attack against them. The officials tore the clothes off Paul and Silas and ordered the guards to beat them with sticks. After they were beaten, they threw them in jail under tight security, and they fastened their feet in stocks.
Have you ever faced situations where you feel like someone… dragged you through the humiliation of the public’s eye? Or, have you felt beaten, imprisoned, with your feet fastened to the floor so you can’t move forward? I’m sure we have all felt that way at some point. Paul and Silas were definitely there. They were IN it, but they knew how to WIN it. Do WE know how to WIN our way through turbulent situations in our life?
Here’s how. Around midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing praises to God, while the other prisoners listened. WHAAAT??? How in the world does a person pray and sing praises to God when they feel like they’ve been dragged, beaten, imprisoned, and shackled to the ground? Here’s how….it’s a CHOICE. It’s a choice that WE EACH have to make for ourselves. We choose our spirit instead of our feelings. Praying instead of complaining. Singing instead of crying. Believing the Word of God instead of believing the lies of the devil. That’s how we win….no matter what we face in life.
Oh, what was the outcome for Paul and Silas? A violent earthquake shook the foundations of the jail. All the doors immediately flew open, and all the prisoners’ chains came loose. The jailer freaked out at first, but Paul and Silas shared the Message of Jesus, and him AND his entire family became Christians. If Paul and Silas could do it…. So can we!
Pastor Kevin Kinchen