PAUL AND SILAS EXPERIENCE A MIRACLE IN ANSWER TO THEIR PRAISE
“Perhaps it takes a purer faith to praise God for unrealized blessings than for those we once enjoyed or those we enjoy now.” — A.W. Tozer
When do we praise the Lord? Is it on the mountaintop? In times of abundance and blessings from heaven, our praise comes naturally. We recognize His presence with us. Our hearts are full and we sing His praises. We honor Him for His love and favor toward us.
What about in the valley? Do we remember to praise Him there? In times when God seems distant, when troubles and worries abound, we often forget the only One who can help. We feel weary and distressed, focusing upon our adversities.
Yet praise can be our spiritual weapon. In Acts 16, we encounter Paul traveling with Silas on his second missionary journey. Meeting upon a servant girl possessed by an evil spirit, Paul miraculously delivers her in the Name of Jesus.
The disciples had no time to revel in this miracle. They were seized, wrongly accused and severely beaten. After being thrown in prison, the jailer places them in an inner cell, fastening their feet in stocks. Praising God might not have seemed like a first reaction to such a dark predicament.
“About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them.” — Acts 16:25
Scripture says that God is enthroned in the praises of His people (Psalm 22:3). Paul and Silas could have looked only at their dire and hopeless situation. Instead they chose to sing praises for their unrealized blessings. Imagine the impact their witness had upon the listening prisoners. What glory to God!
God acts powerfully on behalf of those who believe. Paul and Silas knew that praise was their only weapon. They knew that the God who had rescued them before would rescue them again.
“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.” — Acts 16:26
God worked a mighty miracle in answer to the faith of Paul and Silas. Their hymns of praise shut down the enemy’s attempt to keep them imprisoned. With great power, God shook the prison’s foundations and broke their chains of bondage. They were free!
Our praises bring glory to God. In praise, we come into His mighty presence and unite our spirits with His. We remember His mighty power to act on our behalf. We turn our focus upon His victory instead of our problems.
Praise is a spiritual weapon against the enemy. When we resist the enemy, he will flee from us (James 4:7). Since God inhabits our praises, the enemy will take flight. Darkness must depart in the presence of Light.
“I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise will always be on my lips.” — Psalm 34:1
What power there is in praise! Whether on the mountaintop or in the valley, when we sing God’s praises, our faith is deepened. Let us remember our spiritual weapon and, as David proclaims in this psalm, praise the Lord always.