Give Thanks In All Circumstances
In Acts 16, Paul and Silas were arrested in Macedonia for preaching the Gospel and casting a devil of divination out of a slave woman. The woman’s masters were so upset that they could no longer make money from her fortune-telling that they stirred up a mob against Paul and Silas. “These Jewish men are teaching illegal customs for us Romans,” they shouted to the city officials.
In response to the chaos, the city officials arrested Paul and Silas, “and when they had laid many stripes upon them, they cast them into prison, charging the jailor to keep them safely” (Acts 16:23 KJV). Paul and Silas were doing the work of the Lord and were still persecuted for doing good. Have you ever found yourself in a place where you were doing everything you were supposed to and still experienced hardship and heartache?
Paul and Silas found themselves in this situation, and the jailor thrust them in the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks. But instead of complaining and whining about their pain, wounds, and unfair situation, Paul and Silas decided to give God thanks. “And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them” (verse 25).
Their praise got God’s attention. “And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one's bands were loosed” (verse 26). When God heard their worship, he got to tapping his feat and caused an earthquake. There is power in your praise.
Remember King Jehoshaphat and the children of Judah? When they were faced with an attack from their enemies, they went to battle and put the singers in front of their army. “And when they began to sing and to praise, the Lord set ambushments against the children of Ammon, Moab, and mount Seir, which were come against Judah; and they were smitten” (2 Chronicles 20:22). Their enemies began to attack each other. All King Jehoshaphat and Judah had to do was collect the spoils.
So, with all the commotion, the jailor woke up. And when he saw all the prison doors wide open, he assumed all the prisoners had escaped, so he drew his sword and was about to kill himself. “But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, Do thyself no harm: for we are all here” (verse 28).
Trembling, the jailor fell down before Paul and Silas. “And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” (verse 30). Paul and Silas’s praises to God brought this man under conviction. He realized that their God must be real. Even after they were beaten, they still decided to give God glory. The Bible says, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).
So, the jailor asked Paul and Silas, “What must I do to be saved?” “And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house” (verse 31). The jailor took Paul and Silas to his home and cared for them, washing their wounds.
And Paul and Silas preached to the jailor and his family, and they were all saved and baptized, and all because of the stand Paul and Silas were willing to take. They were willing to make the decision to give thanks in all circumstances. And as a result of that, the power of God was released in that prison, and Paul won the jailor and his entire family to the Lord Jesus.
Never underestimate the power of giving thanks. There is a breakthrough on the other side of your thanksgiving. I dare you to take this moment and give God praise for all he has done for you. He has been good. You may not be where you want to be but thank God you aren’t where you used to be. You have a reason to give him glory. Do not be discouraged if you are experiencing hardships and challenges. Give God praise and watch him blow your mind.
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Thank you for this article. My husband is a minister and we have just walked out of a tremendously difficult season. Still, the losses have taken their toll and I have struggled with anxiety and fear of the future. I have fought these feelings through prayer yet would still find my thoughts spiraling. Just recently, when thoughts and fears raced through my mind, I began to thank God for everything I could think of - truly thank Him. It was then that I found peace. He is so good!