The Acts of Disciples
They Are Led by the Holy Spirit – Part III
Scripture Reading: Acts 16:16-40
Key Verses: Acts 16:18
This went on day after day until Paul got so exasperated that he turned and said to the demon within her, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” And instantly it left her.
Today’s Scripture Reading is one of the greatest stories of the New Testament. Paul and his companions went back to this place of prayer many times, preaching to all that came the Good News of Jesus.
At some point a young slave girl started following them to that place of prayer, shouting:
“These men are servants of the Most High God, and they have come to tell you how to be saved.” (Acts 16:17)
On the surface, it sounds like this girl was shouting a good thing. However, the Apostle Paul soon recognized that a demon was using this girl. Our Key Verse tells us that this girl so exasperated Paul that he turned to her and shouted for the demon to leave her by the power of Jesus Christ. The demon instantly left her, and she was free to be herself and serve Jesus.
But, since she was still a slave girl, her master was not pleased that she could no longer make him money as a fortuneteller. Once again, the Apostle Paul went from the emotional high of seeing God deliver and save people from sin to being severely beaten and thrown in prison.
Paul and Silas certainly did not enjoy the beating nor were they happy to be thrown in prison. However, how they reacted to this horrible turn of events can be a great lesson for us. Look at Acts 16:25:
Around midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening.
Even though they were not happy, they did not lose their joy in the Lord. Because they did not lose their joy in the Lord, they were able to be witnesses to all the others in that prison. Paul and Silas decided to worship rather than worry. They decided to praise rather than pout. They decided to sing rather than grumble about their circumstances. When that happened God began to move in the prison:
Suddenly, there was a massive earthquake, and the prison was shaken to its foundations. All the doors immediately flew open, and the chains of every prisoner fell off! (Acts 16:26)
When we are totally convinced that God works all things for our good, we can react to negative circumstances like Paul and Silas did. It would be interesting to know how many Christ-followers can quote that verse (Romans 8:28) but cannot trust it when tough times come upon them.
Let us take God at His Word, so we also can pray and sing songs when we find ourselves in tough situations.
Father, grant me the strength and courage to accept the negative circumstances that come into my life with total faith in Your ability to make them turn out for my benefit. Help my faith to express itself in praise and worship, I pray in Jesus’s Name, amen.