By Greg Laurie
“But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them.”
The world watches with great interest when a Christian faces adversity. Every one of us faces hardship. Every one of us loses loved ones. Every one of us faces sickness. Every one of us encounters difficulties and hardships in life. But when it happens to Christians, nonbelievers watch to see if our faith is genuine. That is the time to show them what Christ can do, even in hard times.
Acts 16 tells the story of Paul and Silas, who were thrown into prison for preaching the gospel. Their backs had been ripped open with a whip, and at midnight, in the most unsanitary of conditions, in a filthy environment, with their legs stretched apart in shackles causing excruciating pain, Paul and Silas held a worship service. The Bible tells us that “at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God” (verse 25). Suddenly an earthquake shook the prison, their shackles fell off, the walls came down, and they were free to go.
The Philippian jailer, assuming they were free, knew he would be tortured and then put to death. He took out his own sword and was ready to kill himself. But Paul said, “Do yourself no harm, for we are all here” (verse 28).
Then the jailer said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” (verse 30). Paul and Silas made impact on him.
In the same way, there are people watching you right now. They’re developing an opinion about God on the basis of your life. It has been said that a Christian is an epistle, written by God and read by man. You are the only Bible that some people ever will read. They will be looking at you, and that may determine the course their lives will take.
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