Today, we get to open our Bibles to one of the more well-known stories that involved the apostle Paul and Silas. We see them facing extreme persecution, even to the point of physical harm and imprisonment. As we read this passage, we get a close up of what it looks like to have joy in the face of adversity. Let’s recap:
18 – Paul commands a spirit to come out of a girl.
19 – The girl’s masters are irate that they lost a source of income from the lost divination.
22-23 – Paul and Silas are severely beaten.
24 – Paul and Silas are thrown into prison.
25 – We see Paul and Silas’ response is prayer and the singing of hymns.
We could end the passage right there, and it would still baffle the mind! Who in their right mind would be terribly beaten for a cause they believe in and then sing joyfully about it a few hours later? What was Paul and Silas’ secret for having joy in the midst of great tribulation?
As a student ministry volunteer, I am fortunate enough to be surrounded by Christ-loving staff members teaching our middle schoolers and high schoolers on a weekly basis. Recently, Todd taught our students using Matthew 7:24-27, which is the story about the house built on the rock and the house built on the sand. This parable ties in so well with our passage today.
The answer to Paul and Silas’ joy: FOUNDATION. Their foundation is firmly set in Jesus Christ! These men knew that it’s not a matter IF the storm will come but rather WHEN the storm will come. Anybody who did not have a personal relationship with the God of the universe would easily bow down to the situation, but instead Paul and Silas understand that Jesus is worth it! This would lead to an even greater joy as it led to a gospel opportunity with the jailer, and his whole family believed and was saved!
Consider this: are you so reliant on Christ that you still have joy in the face of hardships? Are you so firmly planted on the rock (Jesus) that no storm could keep you from singing His praise? Do your struggles drive you deeper into God’s embrace? It’s not IF the storm will come, but WHEN the storm will come. Let Jesus be your foundation.
By: Tyler Monroe — Worship Ministries Intern