When Paul and Silas arrived in Philippi to preach the Gospel, they were unjustly beaten, illegally prosecuted, and ended up in prison. We can read the story in Acts 16. All they were doing was trying to bring the good news of the Gospel to the world, and in doing so – they ran into people who didn’t like what they were doing. And for their efforts in serving God – they were beaten and imprisoned! And, not only that – they were Roman citizens, so it was actually against Roman law to do this to them!
So, when we read in verse 25, about how Paul and Silas complained and griped and argued with the magistrates for doing this. NO…we read this – “About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them…” They were PRAYING and SINGING??? Yes, even in the midst of very hard and difficult circumstances, they knew God was in control. AND, they realized as Paul mentioned elsewhere in his writings, this life was NOT about them – their lives now belonged to GOD, He could do whatever He wanted!
Things in this world don’t always go the way WE want them to go. Life isn’t always “fair”, and we even occasionally run into trouble when we are just trying to do what is right. But as a Christian, we become slaves of God, He is our ABSOLUTE authority and ruler – and our lives now belong COMPLETELY to Him to do in and through them WHATEVER HE pleases!
Now, if we read the rest of the story in Acts 16, we read how Paul and Silas were miraculously released from prison and how the jailer and his family became followers of Jesus Christ. God worked through the trials to accomplish His plan. But, also – notice how the story ends in verse 40; “So they went out of the prison and visited Lydia. And when they had seen the brothers, they encouraged them and departed.”
When Paul and Silas were released from prison, they didn’t go around complaining about the trial they had just endured or what it cost them. They didn’t gripe about anything – they used their experience to ENCOURAGE others. God often sends us through times of trouble and difficulty just so that He can use our lives to reach others for HIS glory. Remember – It’s HIS LIFE! We belong to HIM!