This is for a devotion i will be doing on Tuesday morning in a men’s prayer group. Men if you can come join us at 6 am. Piney Grove Baptist Church, Mars Hill Road, Acworth.
But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. Acts 16:16
Think about all the times you have had a crisis in your life. Life is going along just fine. There may a few minor things happen, but for the most part things are great. Then all of a sudden tragedy strikes. You lose your house to a fire, you lose a job, or you lose a loved one. There are many things that could happen that we would consider a crisis. Everyone here or everyone reading this has probably had some type of crisis or you might be going through one right now.
When you face a crisis you have two choices. The first choice is to turn your back on God and harden your heart. The second choice is turn to God and give Him the praise he deserves. Both of these choices are complete opposite. When you turn from God you could have many negative emotions. You might get angry. You might become hostile. You might become sad. You might be nervous or anxious. The point is that you are not going to be looking towards God who can give you strength.
If you look towards God you are going to give Him praise and you are not going to lose hope. Times might become bad, but you have to keep praising.
In Acts 16 we see Paul and Silas were in Philippi and things were going great. Lydia had just received Christ and had persuaded them to stay a little longer. As they went to prayer there was a slave girl who had been possessed by evil spirits. After a few days of being harassed by the girl Paul commanded the spirits out of her. Immediately they came out. Again the two men had someone glorious to celebrate. The slave girl’s owner was furious. He took them to the authorities and they were arrested.
This is where they had to make the choice of how to respond. Many people would respond out of anger if they were arrested for no reason. Most people would be upset and demanding legal counsel. Think about how you would respond if you were arrested today if you told someone about Jesus while walking through a local market.
Paul was a man of God. His faith was so strong that it was unshakable. Paul was not going to let a night in jail keep him from praising God. He knew that this was a dark time in his life. He knew that he needed God more than ever. Things were not looking bright for the two missionaries but they stayed focused on God. Paul and Silas were singing hymns. I can only imagine what that night was like. I am sure that it was joyous and filled with the Holy Spirit. I can only imagine that it was like many church services where everyone was praising God.
When we face a dark moment in our lives we cannot turn away from God, we must lean on Him more. The last season I coached baseball, I used the saying we will praise God if we win and we will praise God if we lose. That year we lost every game. The boys learned a lot about coming together as a team and learned some new skills. The main thing they learned was that even at the bottom you must praise God. Did I get frustrated with this team? I might have been a little frustrated but I knew what I had told my players. I made my mind up that I would not let it get to me and that I would be there for these young boys.
It is not a matter of if a crisis hits, it is a matter of when. How will you respond next time you face a bad situation? Do you turn away or towards God?