The crowd joined in the attack against Paul and Silas, and the magistrates ordered them to be stripped and beaten. After they had been severely flogged, they were thrown into prison, and the jailer was commanded to guard them carefully. Upon receiving such orders, he put them in the inner cell and fastened their feet in the stocks. About Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. Acts 16: 22-25
When having a bad day, it’s unlikely we’d describe our mood as joyous. To the contrary, we are likely to be tense, short tempered, angry or distraught. In fact, from simple problems like being stuck in traffic to the most difficult of trials, being joyful is the last emotion we would expect to experience.
The Bible tells us that Paul and Silas, two of Jesus’ disciples, sang songs of praise after being whipped, beaten and then chained in a cold and dark prison cell. Yes, bloody, cold and imprisoned without cause, they praised God! Doesn’t seem possible, does it? But Paul and Silas knew Jesus personally; they trusted He was in control of all things and that there wasn’t anything that God could not handle. Their confidence in God gave them peace, and this peace gave them joy knowing they were with God and God was with them. A joy that was so deep and profound they were able to sing praises despite their unfair and brutal treatment, their dire circumstances. Not long after they praised God, an earthquake shook the ground violently and they were set free. This same sincere joy that Paul and Silas experienced is available to us all at all times – and because of it, we too are set free.
I will praise you with the harp for your faithfulness, O my God; I will sing praise to you with the lyre, O Holy One of