There have been a few videos on social media showing what’s taking place in Ukraine. It is a tragedy what’s taking place there.
One video has been those who profess to be Christians singing in a subway station. It was a great site to see! It got me thinking about Paul and Silas during their suffering in Acts 16:23-26.
When they had struck them with many blows, they threw them into prison, commanding the jailer to guard them securely; and he, having received such a command, threw them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks. But about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God, and the prisoners were listening to them; and suddenly there came a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison house were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone's chains were unfastened.
A couple of things stand out to me. First, suffering didn’t stop Paul and Silas from worshiping God. Second, before the earthquake ever occurred, they were singing praises to God. It’s natural to sing a song of praise after God has delivered us. But what is special is singing and praying in difficult times.
When will we sing? Suffering can happen for a variety of reasons. In Luke 13, Luke records several events that give us some insight as to why we will sometimes suffer. Suffering can occur due to the wickedness of others. People had suffered because of Pilate and his choices, Luke 13:1-3. Sometimes suffering may occur due to time and chance, Luke 13:4-5. Satan is often behind the suffering we may experience. He was the one who had bound the woman who had been bent over for 18 years. Many times, the suffering we experience is our fault, Luke 13:23-24, 34-35. Those who are lost on judgment day will have to take responsibility for themselves.
But when will we sing? Let us develop our faith so that we will sing and pray during every season of life. Let us take our shields of faith and strengthen them so we can have the faith of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego. When faced with the fire of Nebuchadnezzar they said,
If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire; and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But even if He does not, let it be known to you, O king, that we are not going to serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.
Let us sing and pray at all times to our great God in heaven!
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