God is Still Awesome
In Acts 16, Paul and Silas are falsely accused, beaten, and thrown into prison with their feet locked in chains. No, they weren’t on the FBI’s top 10 list. They were much more dangerous than that.
Paul and Silas preached the Gospel and cast out demons. Hell can’t stand up to that power.
Praising God from Prison
How did Paul and Silas react after being tossed into prison without good cause? They had a praise and worship session around midnight while the other prisoners listened. I might complain, “Oh, Lord, look upon my circumstances. I was falsely accused, beaten, and thrown in prison with vile, dangerous criminals. Please show your favor upon me and get me outta here and hurry!” Not Paul and Silas. They praised God despite their circumstances.
How can you do that?
Know who God is and know that He loves you while working out all things for good if you love Him.
Faith that Breaks the Chains
What was God’s response to the faith of Paul and Silas? He caused a great earthquake that shook the prison’s foundations, opened all of the gates, and loosened all of the prisoner’s chains. The poor guard almost killed himself when he woke and saw the gates open. Then the most remarkable thing is verse 28. “But Paul called with a loud voice, saying, “Do yourself no harm, for we are all here.”
Amazing. No prisoner escaped. God gave them a perfect opportunity to hit the road, but they didn’t. Why not? The Bible doesn’t tell us, but I have a theory.
They were awestruck by the power of God
Remember, the prisoners listened to Paul and Silas sing praises to God when suddenly the earthquake happened. They knew the earthquake wasn’t a coincidence. A sense of God’s glorious wonder and power filled their hearts.
Where Has that Wonder Gone?
This question isn’t for non-believers. I ask it on behalf of those of us who claim to follow the Great I Am. Where has that wonder gone?
Do we believe that God stopped manifesting His power when the Bible went to press? God’s not dead. He’s surely alive. And God still works miracles for those with the faith to believe He will.
It’s no surprise Christians have a lackluster faith. Churches lead the way with a lack of awe. A few years ago, I attended a Christmas Eve service to hear the Greatest Story ever told — the story that saves,
And the pastor was bored delivering the message.
We’ve lost our awestruck wonder of who God is and His power. We’ve lost reverence for Him. We’ve lost our fear of Him. We treat him like a kitten when He’s a fierce lion.
To paraphrase C.S. Lewis from Chronicles of Narnia, He’s good. He’s the King, but of course, He’s not safe.
Read Your Bible and Count Your Blessings
Our culture and nation have drifted so far from God, and the Church is getting pulled out with the same tide. Maybe it’s because very few Christians read their Bibles today. The Word is our anchor, and we need to read it every day.
As you start to read your Bible again, make a list of how God has blessed you in the past. Remember His faithfulness to you. Maybe life is tough right now for you but praise Him anyway.
Only He can break the chains and set you free.