I was reading the bible just now and was amazed at the faith of Paul and Silas in Acts 16:22-34 “The crowd joined in the attack against Paul and Silas, and the magistrates ordered them to be stripped and beaten. After they had been severely flogged, they were thrown into prison, and the jailer was commanded to guard them carefully. Upon receiving such orders, he put them in the inner cell and fastened their feet in the stocks.
About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everybody’s chains came loose. The jailer woke up, and when he saw the prison doors open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself because he thought the prisoners had escaped. But Paul shouted, “Don’t harm yourself! We are all here!”
The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas. He then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”
They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.” Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in his house. At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his family were baptized. The jailer brought them into his house and set a meal before them; he was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God—he and his whole family.”
1) First, Paul and Silas were stripped, beaten and flogged. Yet at midnight, they were still praying and singing hymns to God in the prison. Despite pain and suffering after they were beaten and flogged, they still chose to pray and sing songs to God. This is really true faith – to be able to praise God even in times of difficulties. I desire to have such faith too! 🙂
2) Second, when the violent earthquake occurred, the prison doors flew open and everybody’s chain came loose. The normal human instinct was to run out of prison and escaped. But Paul and Silas did not. They stayed in the prison and when they saw that the jailer was about to kill himself, they stopped him. This is really true integrity. When we have the opportunities to benefit ourselves, do we just think of ourselves or do we think of the interest of others first?
3) Third, Paul and Silas took the opportunities to share to the jailer and his family. Even though they were in the prison, they did not focus on their circumstances but focus on the opportunities to share to the jailer and his family. In the end, the jailer and his family were saved and baptized. What an amazing ending to a seemingly difficult situation! Paul and Silas were so led by the Holy Spirit that they can do God’s will wherever they go. I wonder whether I would share the gospel if I were in the situation of Paul and Silas. I really need more evangelistic fervor in my life.