"I am going to prison tomorrow Mommy!"
Certainly not words a mom wants to hear from her child.
it is Emma talking very excitedly about her VBS class tomorrow~~the Philippian jailer and the helmet of salvation.
Acts 16:16-40 tells the account Paul and Silas' journey to Philippi, a Roman colony. They were there teaching the people about Christ. On their way to the place of worship, they encountered a young slave girl who was possessed by a demon. This demon gave her the ability to predict futures. Her masters used her demon possession to make themselves money. While Paul and Silas were in Philippi, the young slave girl followed them around shouting, "These men are servants of the Most High God, who are telling you the way to be saved." She continued following them and ranting for many days. Paul became so troubled by her that he turned around and said, "In the name of Jesus Christ I command you to come out of her!" The demon immediately left the young girl. The masters of the girl became enraged with Paul and Silas because by casting out the demon they had taken away her ability to make them money. The people seized them and took them before they magistrates, demanding justice for them causing an uproar and for teaching against 'the Roman way of life". The magistrate ordered Paul and Silas to be severely beaten, and placed in stocks within the inner prison.
And at this point how many of us would just give up? The people did not want to hear what Paul and Silas had to say about Christ. They were stripped and brutally flogged. They were put in stocks within the inner prison. To so many it would seem that praising God was useless. God had left Paul and Silas. Why would these men want to continue telling others about a God that allowed them to be beaten and imprisoned?
But Paul and Silas KNEW that God was with them. They KNEW that God's plan would be carried out. They KNEW that God was a loving and a just God and that comfort could be found in Him.
AND THEY PRAYED TO GOD! AND THEY SANG TO GOD!
With their wounds still fresh; their freedom stripped from them...Paul and Silas prayed and sang to God.
Paul and Silas could have hardened their hearts because of the harsh treatments they had been given. They could have cried out, "Why me Lord?" while they wallowed in self pity. But they did not let Satan win. They found peace in their circumstances; a peace that can only be obtained by a faith in God.
As they lay within the gray stone walls of the dark inner prison, Paul and Silas had hope; they were shining lights for God.
As Paul and Silas lay in bondage, they had faith in a God that is gracious and merciful.
As they writhed in pain from the fresh wounds covering their body, they glorified God.
And their joy and contentment in whatever circumstance they found themselves allowed the Philippian jailer and his household to see a peace that is only found when one is in God's family.
And through the example of Paul and Silas Christ was taught and the Philippian jailer and his household were baptized for their salvation and the hope of an eternal life with God.
Souls were brought to Christ because two men, while in dire circumstances, glorified God!
And who am I, with my trivial problems, to NOT be a beacon for God?
Let all who seek You rejoice and be glad in You; Let those who love Your salvation say continually, "The LORD be magnified!" Psalm 40:16
I must consider the lessons I am teaching others by my grumbling and complaining.
“And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, when you received the message with joy that comes from the Holy Spirit, despite great affliction” 1 Thess 1:6
I must remember that in whatever circumstance I find myself in, God is near. Comfort and strength can be found in Him. That all things are possible through Him.
"I am going to prison tomorrow Mommy!"
Yes Emma, and you are going to learn about two men, that despite the wounds and prison walls, they were content~~~because God was with them!