It’s just after midnight and I’m awake thinking of those individuals facing very extenuating circumstances. I wonder if maybe this Thanksgiving will be less welcomed than previous years for those families. While many are joyfully preparing to celebrate a plentiful feast with family and friends, unfortunately, others are in the throes of life, and therefore find it difficult to be thankful.
I love the story of Paul and Silas because it reminds us of how the Holy Spirit enables Believers to praise God in the most difficult situations. God sent Paul and Silas to Philippi to share the Good News about Jesus. They were beaten and thrown in prison because they were falsely accused of causing trouble in the city. Their place of imprisonment was meant for the most dangerous prisoners. Yet, Paul and Silas did nothing wrong. They had body sores from being beaten with rods. Their feet were placed into blocks of wood to ensure they would not escape.
How did Paul and Silas respond to these dire circumstances? Both men chose not to focus on their situation but on the sovereignty of God. Instead, they prayed and sang hymns of praise while shackled. The other prisoners listened. Suddenly, at midnight, the very foundation of the prison trembled. There was an earthquake and all the doors opened and the chains of every prisoner fell off! Even the jailer had to acknowledge the supernatural power of God. He asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” Paul and Silas shared the word of the Lord with them. The jailer and his entire household rejoiced and believed in God. (Acts 16:11-40)
This biblical story of Paul and Silas encourages believers to remain focused on the character of God in the most difficult situations. They were empowered to move beyond natural reactions and instead to supernatural responses. The Holy Spirit enables us to praise God as we wait on His plan and purpose to unfold.
I strongly believe in keeping a song of praise in my heart. Especially when tough times emerge, listening to Christ-centered music allows His presence to soothe emotions . It has been one of my most trusted ways of getting through this life. I can testify that it’s effective in setting the atmosphere for chains to be broken and lives to be changed.
As we move further into the holiday season, it is my hope that the Lord will strengthen those struggling. May He allow them to experience a moment of hope, offer praise in the midst of their trouble and see Him in this beautiful season.