"And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them." Acts 16:25
When we are going through trials, trying times and difficulties, there are three courses of action that we can take.
1) We can use the weapon of God's word. When the devil came to Jesus in the wilderness to tempt Him to sin, Jesus used the "sword of the Spirit" (God's word/the scriptures) as His course of action to withstand the temptations and put the devil on the run. "It is written".
2) We can "stand still" and allow God to fight the battle for us. When Jehoshaphat was king of Judah, the Moabites, Ammonites and many other countries were coming against him in battle. The word that the Lord sent to him was- "Ye shall not need to fight in this battle: set yourselves, stand ye still, and see the salvation of the Lord with you, O Judah and Jerusalem: fear not, nor be dismayed; to morrow go out against them: for the Lord will be with you." (2 Chronicles 20:17) His course of action was to obey God's word to be still and let God fight for him.
3) We praise the Lord. When Paul and Silas was in prison, they didn't whine and cry, they didn't murmur and complain, they didn't make loud threats to the jailors, they didn't get angry with God, instead they sang praises and prayed. There are times when a song isn't within us, when a praise is not felt, when praise seems like the last thing that you can do, that you just have to step out in faith and say, "Hallelujah any how". You just have to decide to praise the Lord in spite of the circumstance. These men were sitting in prison at midnight with their feet in stocks. Praise was the last thing a person could think about under those conditions, yet it was exactly what they did.
You may be going through a midnight time- a time of darkness, grief and despair. You may be sitting in a prison- a prison of fear, dread, hopelessness. You may have your feet bound by stocks- unable to go forward or retreat, stuck in a situation with no freedom in sight. It is then when your course of action has to be to "praise the Lord". It is in these times that you have to look past your circumstances, past the conditions, past what you see and praise Him anyway. As you do, the darkness of hopelessness and despair will begin to break forth into the light of hope. As you do the chains of fear will begin to loosen. As you do the prison doors with shake, and you will experience an inner change and freedom even though the situation may not change but stay the same.
Have a great day. In trying times you have a course of action to take. One course is that of praise.
For further reading:
2 Chronicles 20:1-17
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Coffee Break is a morning devotional written by Lorraine Ezell
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