Experiencing Christ

Praising God with a Transcendent Spirit

Acts 16:23 And when they had laid many stripes upon them, they threw them into prison, charging the jailer to keep them securely, (24) Who, having received such a charge, threw them into the inner prison and secured their feet in the stocks. (25) And about midnight Paul and Silas, while praying, sang hymns of praise to God; and the prisoners were listening to them (26) And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison house were shaken. And instantly all the doors were opened and everyone’s bonds were unfastened.

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God’s children are foolish if they stop praising when they suffer under adverse environments and downtrodden feelings. But as they come to know God more, they will find that even a Philippian jail can become a place of songs. Paul and Silas were praising God inside the jail cell. Their praise broke loose all the jail doors. The jailer believed in the Lord on that day, and his whole family was saved in a joyful way.

Paul and Silas offered the sacrifice of praise in the jail. The wounds on their bodies were not yet healed; their pain was not soothed. Their feet were in the stocks, and they were shut in an inner jail of the Roman Empire. What was there to be joyful about? What was there to sing about? But there were two persons with transcendent spirits, who had surpassed everything. They saw that God was still sitting in the heavens; He had not changed at all. They themselves might have changed, their environment might have changed, their feelings might have changed, and their bodies might have been suffering, but God was still sitting on the throne. He was still worthy of their blessings. This kind of praise is a victory.

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