Acts 16:25 About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them.
Sometimes people don’t notice us at all, but sometimes they are really paying attention. That’s what being a witness of Christ is all about. (Acts 1:8) Paul and Silas literally had a captive audience, and their behavior was all the more noticeable because it was so unexpected. Our response to trials is perhaps the most powerful testimony we can give, and sadly, we all too often show that our faith is just a matter of words, with nothing behind them. Paul and Silas were not present in the Upper Room before Jesus’ crucifixion, but they certainly demonstrated that they believed something He said there: “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have over-come the world.” (John 16:33) Everyone who lives on the face of this earth goes through stuff, which is why over-protective parents do their children real harm when they make a big deal over little things. We shouldn’t let our children feel we don’t care, but we should encourage them that they will get through whatever it is that seems so big to them. After all, we need the same encouragement ourselves sometimes! Making a big deal over minor things is what produces “snowflakes,” people who are offended by the smallest things and do their best to make life miserable for those around them. Paul and Silas were obviously the opposite of that, and they made it clear by their actions that their strength came from their faith. The result was a miracle and the salvation of a whole household. (Sometimes I wonder if the other prisoners weren’t included in that!)
This is of course a challenge to me, as it is to every believer. I don’t always respond well to the troubles of life, but I’m learning. Cathy’s response to her multiple medical issues has been a powerful witness to many, and particularly those at the clinic where she does rehab for her Parkinson’s. On this trip we are somewhat in the spotlight at times, and that is certainly an opportunity to demonstrate the difference it makes for Jesus really to be Lord in our lives. We aren’t to be bragging, but we are to be genuine, giving God the praise and glory He certainly, and He alone, deserves, just as Paul and Silas did.
Father, thank You for this reminder. I needed it! I pray that today we would recognize what You want us doing each minute, and do it with joy and praise, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!