Have you ever felt like you were a prisoner of your circumstances? Have you ever felt like your problems kept you in a prison cell? Trials and tribulations can keep us in chains. Our mind can be a self-inflicted life sentence that holds us in jail. When I find myself in a difficult situation, I remember what happened to Paul and Silas in the Bible. They were unfairly put in jail while they were doing God’s work. To make sure they wouldn’t escape, they were thrown in a dungeon and their feet were clamped in the stocks. Talk about being in a dire and desperate predicament. I am sure their problem seemed horrible to them. However, instead of falling into the trap of despair, they sang hymns and prayed. Their attitude is a perfect example to be followed. Now, around midnight, there was an earthquake, the prison was shaken and the doors flew open. The chains of the prisoners fell off. Friend, you might be going through a lot today but let me tell you that your midnight is on the way. God is about to shake your world and open the doors of your cell. The chains are about to fall off. Hang in there. He is going to set you free.
The way Paul and Silas react to their condition in jail is exemplary. They set a great example for us. You probably noticed that instead of crying, they sang. Instead of complaining, they prayed. Their circumstances didn’t change their connection with God. Their jail time didn’t change their daily routine of praising God. Their dilemma didn’t keep them from singing hymns. How many of us can say that when life hits us hard we just keep on singing and praying to God? Let’s have a Paul and Silas reaction to life, friend. Let’s exhibit extravagant faith that enables us to have fun while we are going through the furnace. It’s totally the opposite of what we feel like doing but what’s folly to man is wisdom to God. With Paul and Silas we are in the company of two very wise men. Let’s try it their way. It worked wonders for them.
As we celebrate and keep on enjoying life as usual in the midst of trouble, God will intervene. It might not be a physical earthquake but it’s going to be a spiritual tsunami that is going to reverse your worst situation. Midnight is late in the day. This symbolizes that they received their freedom late when most people would not expect anything to happen anymore. They didn’t give up. They didn’t give up when most of us would. Midnight is coming, friend. Don’t worry about how late it all seems to be. It will happen. In the middle of your night, in the middle of darkness, God is going to open the door and bring the light in. He is going to take you out of the dungeon. He’s going to break the shackles and let you walk free. It could come to you as a surprise when you least expect it. Just keep on doing what you do. Keep on praying, keep on hoping, keep on believing. Take your eyes off your problem and fix your eyes on your midnight hour. Stay encouraged. There are no chains and no prisons too strong for our Lord. Midnight is coming!
Suggested reading: Acts 16:25; James 1:2; Psalm 77:6