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Friday, February 16, 2007

Break Those Chains - Freedom in the Walk

Freedom in Praise

22And the multitude rose up together against them: and the magistrates rent off their clothes, and commanded to beat them.
23And when they had laid many stripes upon them, they cast them into prison, charging the jailor to keep them safely:
24Who, having received such a charge, thrust them into the inner prison, and made their feet fast in the stocks.
25And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them.
26And 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.

27And the keeper of the prison awaking out of his sleep, and seeing the prison doors open, he drew out his sword, and would have killed himself, supposing that the prisoners had been fled.
28But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, Do thyself no harm: for we are all here. 29Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas,
30And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?
31And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.

This has always been one of my favorite passages in the Bible. Just thinking about Paul and Silas praying and singing at midnight amazes me. I'm sure the other prisoners thought they were crazy. I'm sure that some probably cursed at them and told them to shut-up.
But I'm sure those other prisoners were silenced when their own chains fell to the floor because of Paul and Silas' praise.
See, praise is freeing. And it not only frees us, it opens up the hearts of those around us to embrace that same freedom. Had Paul and Silas sat silently, the Philippian jailor may never have accepted Christ's freedom.
But the jailor saw the power that Paul and Silas had. He saw the peace they had. He saw the freedom they had despite the chains that bound them. And he wanted that freedom.
We are going to face prisons of suffering in our life. We are going to have circumstances that we have no power to escape. The question is, how are we going to face those circumstances.
Are we going to face them in anger and bitterness, or are we going to face them with praise? Paul and Silas showed us that facing problems with praise brings awesome results. Freeing results.
So the next time you are locked in the chains of sorrow, praise God anyway. You might be amazed at how your life is rearranged!


At 10:50 AM, Blogger Shalee said...

"See, praise is freeing."

Oh what a lovely thought, Heather! It does release us from so many things that can be binding - hurt, anger, pain, indifference.

And you're right; if Paul and Silas had not praised God in all things, then he would not have been brought to Christ that day.

Most excellent advice today, Heather.

At 3:47 AM, Blogger Janet Rubin said...

It's like that song- "Blessed be Your name, one the road marked with suffering, though there's pain in the offering, Blessed by your name." Great admonition:)


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