They were jailed under false charges by men who cared more about money than anything else. Not just jailed, but beaten and locked in an inner prison with their feet fastened in stocks. There Paul and Silas sat, punished for something they did not do.
When I am treated wrongly, falsely accused or harshly treated, I tend to focus on the injustice of it all. My pride wants justice, respect and an apology. I demand restitution for the injustice. Yet I read in Acts 16:22-34 how Paul and Silas responded very differently to their situation. “But about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God, and the prisoners were listening to them (verse 25).”
What strikes me about this verse is not necessarily that they were praying and praising God, it’s that the other prisoners were listening to them. They were observing how these Christians responded to wrongful treatment. Paul and Silas were showing the other prisoners their trust in God’s purpose for their life. This is something I often forget — that others are watching us in times of trouble. They want to know if our faith in Jesus is real and how it holds up under pressure.
© 2021, CGThelen