“About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them.” (Acts 16:25 NIV)
For anyone who pays attention to time–as we know it–it is always darkest at midnight, which is really the indicator of a new day. Think about it. We usually see the dawning of a new day when the sun rises in the east and we see it settling into its end at sunset in the west. Whether it is dark or light, time keeps moving forward to get to the next day.
If we were to view the challenges and problems in our lives as simply a moment in time, then we would be able to arise above the “feelings” of defeat, knowing that a new day is dawning and with it, new opportunities to achieve the success God has promised us. “Whatever you put your hands to, out of obedience, you will have good success.” What He said to Joshua still applies to us. When we are obedient, we must do something, not dwell in pity and caterwauling.
Paul was obedient in promoting the Gospel and doing everything he knew was by unction of Holy Spirit. And because he was obedient, the naysayers–the arrogant and envious, and the greedy–found fault with him and he and Silas were beaten and thrown into jail. Now, they could have had a pity party and sat there singing “woe is me” songs and the other prisoners would have heard that, too. Instead, they sang songs of praise to God and prayed, believing they would be delivered, doubting nothing.
So, when the earthquake freed them from their chains, they could have taken off in the midst of confusion, but they chose to stay where they were. As a result of their decision, the jailer and all his household, chose to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and were saved.
Would the other prisoners have seen the power of God at work had they been singing sad songs? Had they muttered and grumbled, would their shackles have been broken? When we face challenges and trouble seems to know our address by heart, what songs are we singing? Are our lips and tongue saying what aligns with The Word or what aligns with the moment–our feelings?
Our reaction to challenges and troubles will determine whether we see the new day dawning with a new attitude and new mercies or whether we sink deeper into despair, not realizing that time moves forward whether it is dark or light outside. A new day, a new opportunity, new mercies each morning–thinking on the promises of God, not the darkness, creates an inner light within us and we know we can get to the next day.
What are we doing in the midnight hours of our life? Are shackles being broken or are the depths of despair shoveling deeper, preparing to bury us alive? Make sure our song and communication align with The Word and even in our midnights–hope in Jesus Christ will sustain us and because others will hear and see what we do, they will understand the power of God and believe.