BEING A WITNESS DESPITE YOUR CHAINS

 

Acts 16:25-33

25 Around midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening. 26 Suddenly, there was a massive earthquake, and the prison was shaken to its foundations. All the doors immediately flew open, and the chains of every prisoner fell off! 27 The jailer woke up to see the prison doors wide open. He assumed the prisoners had escaped, so he drew his sword to kill himself. 28 But Paul shouted to him, “Stop! Don’t kill yourself! We are all here!”

29 The jailer called for lights and ran to the dungeon and fell down trembling before Paul and Silas. 30 Then he brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”

31 They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved, along with everyone in your household.” 32 And they shared the word of the Lord with him and with all who lived in his household. 33 Even at that hour of the night, the jailer cared for them and washed their wounds. Then he and everyone in his household were immediately baptized. 34 He brought them into his house and set a meal before them, and he and his entire household rejoiced because they all believed in God.

Many times, some of us find it difficult to be a blessing during the times of our difficulties. For some people their circumstance determines whether they pray or praise God.

In this scripture we see Paul and Silas humiliated and persecuted for setting a young girl free from the bondage of divination. The bondage of a slavery to a false god. Paul and Silas were wrongly accused and locked up, chain and barrel. Yet in the middle of their imprisonment and predicament, they prayed and sang praises to God. Paul and Silas were able to pray and praise God because their joy was not conditioned by their situation.

In the direst situation and circumstance, you will find that God has provided you with sufficient grace and a song for the situation.

2 Corinthians 12:8-9

8 Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. 9 Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.

Paul and Silas realised that their prison experience was meant to bring God glory and in the midst of their predicament they chose to glorify God. Every day of our lives we come across people, individuals in chains and in prison. Most times just like Paul we are brought into their lives for a purpose and that purpose is for God to be glorified. When life becomes just about us, we fail to see what God is trying to do through us.

Jesus said in John 4:4 He had to go through Samaria on the way. Paul and Silas had to go through this prison in order to bring the jailer and his household to the Lord. The Bible says in prison, as they prayed and sang praises to God there was a massive earthquake and every one’s hands were loosed. Paul and Silas’ hands were loose, the prisoners’ hands were loose. The Prison doors flung open because Paul and Silas refused to allow their own situation to dictate whether they will glorify God or not. This result helped to progress the gospel. The jailer asked one of the most important question any unbeliever would or should ask.

What must I do to be saved?

This gave Paul the opportunity to preach the gospel, which brought salvation to a whole household.

Does your circumstance dictate how you praise God?

Does your situation define your faith?

If we love God as much as we profess His love should compel us to preach the gospel in whatever situation we find ourselves. His love should bring us to that place of praising in Him in whatever situation we find ourselves. Then people will see and ask us about Him and we can boldly say to them like Paul and Silas did.

31 They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved, along with everyone in your household.” 32 And they shared the word of the Lord with him and with all who lived in his household.

Remember,

People still need to know Christ despite your chains.

People still need to know Christ despite the persecutions you go through.

People will come to know Christ as they see you glorify God in spite of your situation.

Pray and sing praises to God despite your situation. You never can tell whose life God wants to touch through you. Your situation and response to it might be the next message that will stir someone up to ask you that all important question: “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” …….

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