“But I will hope continually, and will praise You yet more and more. My mouth shall tell of Your righteousness and Your salvation all the day, for I do not know their limits. I will go in the strength of the Lord God; I will make mention of Your righteousness, of Yours only.” Psalm 71:14–16
The city of Philippi had had some good and bad points so far for Paul. There was no synagogue, the usual starting point for Paul when he entered a city, but he and Silas had found a group praying along the river and had received hospitality from a woman named Lydia. Then when things seemed to be going well a young woman showed up and began calling out that they were servants of the Most High God, proclaiming the way of salvation. This wouldn’t have been so bad except it went on for days and began to have an impact on their ability to proclaim the message of salvation.
Paul realized that it was a evil spirit that was controlling the young woman so, in Jesus name, he commanded that it come out and then things got really interesting.
The young woman had been a slave and her owners had made money by having people pay to have her tell their fortunes and now these men were angry because they had lost their source of income. So they took Paul and Silas to the magistrates and registered their complaint after which the magistrates had them flogged and thrown in jail where they were put in the most secure cell and placed in stocks.
But unjust and rough treatment did not diminish their witness. There in the dark prison with the stocks confining them in uncomfortable positions Paul and Silas began to sing songs of praise and worship to God. There was no whining or self pitying. God was with them. He was leading them. He was able to work all things to his honor and glory, even their humiliation and suffering, and they would praise him.
And God heard them and he drew close to receive their worship and as he did the earth quaked, the prison shook, their bonds were broken and all the prison doors were thrown open.
The prison keeper was ready to take his own life for fear of what would happen to him should any of the prisoners have escaped but when he saw that no one had run away he ran to Paul and begged him to tell him what he needed to do to be saved.
Are you going through a difficult time in you life? Perhaps it’s been going on for a long time. Both the apostle Paul and King David experienced times like that and they would tell you that these times are times for you to be a strong witness for God’s faithfulness and power to save.
David said, “I will hope continually, and will praise You yet more and more.”
Regardless what our circumstances are many of God’s mercies are renewed everyday let us praise him and hope In him and let us been the witnesses for the hope we have no matter what else may happen. God will hear us. He will come near to receive our worship and who knows we too may feel the earth shake.