“These men are servants of God who are telling you how you can be saved!” The slave girl shouted these words repeatedly for many days. Her shouting got on Paul’s last nerve and he commanded the spirit in the name of Jesus to come out of her. The spirit left her.
When her owners realized that her fortune telling abilities were gone, they were mad. Paul had silenced their money making machine. The men dragged Paul and Silas to the authorities and accused them falsely. “These men are Jews and are causing commotion in the city.”
They stripped Paul and Silas, flogged them and locked them in jail.
While in jail, Paul and Silas did not focus on the pain from the beatings or the unfairness of their situation, rather they prayed and praised God. While they were praying, a violent earthquake shook the foundations of the prison doors open and everyone’s chains were loosened.
The jailer, afraid that the prisoners had escaped, was going to kill himself. But Paul called out to him, “don’t kill yourself, everyone is here.”
The jailer was so moved that he asked Paul and Silas, “What must I do to be saved?”
Paul responded, believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved. The jailer believed and invited Paul and Silas into his house for a meal. His entire family believed and they were baptized. He and his whole household were saved (Acts 16:16-34).
God could have appeared to the jailer and convinced him to believe. However, as people, we learn from others and from experience. God moved in such a way that the jailer would believe without a shadow of doubt.
Paul and Silas were treated unfairly. What was their response to this treatment? They sang and praised God. They strengthened themselves in the Lord. In response to their prayers, God worked it all out for good. Through Paul and Silas’ suffering the jailer and his family believed and received God’s gift of salvation.
Like the jailer, my desire is for my family to know Jesus as Lord and Savior. God has used various trials in my life for good-even though I might consider some of them unfair. When I focus on who He is even in the midst of hardship, I know every trial is worth it, especially if it leads my entire family to know Jesus as Lord.
Are you going through a trial that you think is unfair? How is God working through your trial for good? He may use your trial to bring a loved one to faith in Christ. Romans 8:28 reminds us that God works all things together for good to those who love God. Did you catch that? ALL things, not some but ALL.
What can we do while waiting for God to work all things for our good?
We can hang onto our Hope in God during the waiting period. This is a period God uses to mold our character.
- While waiting, do not yield to discouragement. Pray and praise Him.
- Lean on the Lord. Read and meditate on His Word.
- Praise God, and thank him in advance for the outcome.
- Reach out to others, and encourage them with the comfort you have received.