In the Midnight Hour

Acts 16: 25-26
-"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 everyone’s chains came loose.”

I’ve always known the story of Paul and Silas but never really saw or understood the significance of their praises and faith in God.  Paul and Silas were thrown in prison for spreading the Word of God and doing His work and will.  They were beaten and in prison without trial, but as they sat in prison bruised beaten and uncomfortable, they began to sing praises to God.  This struck me because while they were uncomfortable is when they started praising God the strongest and wouldn’t let up.

When God miraculously released them from prison after hearing their praises the other jailer after witnessing their faith asked them what he must do to be saved.  The jailer was saved that night.  When Paul and Silas left town they left behind a body of believers.  This was a great reminder that even in extremely difficult times, God can bring about great things.  God will have His name glorified even through our trials and tribulations.  Paul and Silas had this perspective, and that’s why they were able to sing praises at midnight.  Even when we don’t feel like things are going our way or life couldn’t be any worse; we need to still continue to praise God because you never know who is watching or where our next blessing is coming from.

The fact that the prisoners were “listening” to Paul and Silas singing hymns is not a detail to be overlooked.  As women of God, we too have people watching how we react to life’s circumstances.  If Paul and Silas had been griping, protesting or whining about the injustice of their situation, the jailer would have never been drawn to believe in Jesus. But they responded to their situation gracefully and with joy, their actions were completely foreign to how others expected them to react.

Silas is a great example of someone who used his gifts to serve the Lord and others with all his heart.  The apostles called him “faithful,” and he was known as one to “encourage and strengthen the brothers.”  We can learn so much from Paul and Silas that during high and low times we have to continue to encourage others and ourselves.  When we pour into others Jesus will pour into us, we also must surround ourselves with people who are able and willing to pour into us as well.

If we’re going to live in victory we have to know how to praise him in the midnight hour.  Even when things seem the darkest, when we’re in pain, disappointed, lonely, or experiencing loss.  When we praise Him no matter what, that’s when God can enter any situation.  Even if we’re in a difficult season we have to remember that praises paves our way to victory.

My prayer is: “I declare that You are worthy to be praised, and Your worth doesn’t change because of my circumstances. I will bless You in the midnight hour knowing that You are good, and You have victory and freedom in store for me in Jesus name I pray, Amen.”