In the book of Acts 16:16 – 38, the apostle Paul and his companion, Silas, find themselves imprisoned in a Macedonian dungeon after having been attacked by a mob, stripped and then severely beaten. Their “crime” had been preaching the Word, strengthening the churches and coming against demonic strongholds in people’s lives. Instead of blessing, they received violent injustice, cruelty and pain. Yet, at midnight they were “praying and singing hymns to God.” (v. 25). They knew they had to praise and trust in God through the storm they were in.
“I lift my eyes to the hills. Where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the maker of Heaven and earth.” (Psalm 121:1-2)
Sitting in a dank, dirty, underground prison, hungry and thirsty, with raw wounds throbbing, Paul and Silas nevertheless lifted up their voices in praises to Him—and the other prisoners were listening. But they weren’t the only ones; God also heard Paul and Silas, and in swift response sent such a violent earthquake that it caused their stocks to loosen and the prison doors to fling open.
Not only did they end up getting out of prison, but the jailer and his whole family put their faith in Christ because of how these two men had stood up under suffering with unwavering faith in God.
“It is commendable if a man bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because he is conscious of God.” (1 Peter 2:19)
How is your faith today? Are you in a dungeon of sorts, suffering the loss of a dear one, a job, a reputation, income, health…has there been betrayal, injustice, abuse, pain? Are you feeling hopeless and afraid? Are your wounds tormenting you?
When times are toughest, the Lord promises to be with us and teach us how to walk without fear even “through the valley of the shadow of death.” And death—death of relationships, innocence, health, security—loses its grip if we will but call on His name and cling to Him. Remember that He is all powerful and loves you! He will draw near! He will provide a way out.
He will lift you out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire, setting [your] feet upon a rock and making [your] steps secure. (Psalm 40:2)
When my husband was diagnosed with bladder cancer and I thought I was losing him, all I could do is cry out to God with all my heart, full of desperation and fear. The Lord not only drew near, but He directed our every step.
Less than a year later, in nothing short of a miracle, my husband was declared cancer free. It was accomplished in holistic, unconventional ways, and our story is captured in my book called Healed, Healthy and Whole, How We Beat Cancer with Integrative Therapies and Essential Healing Strategies (http://www.healedhealthyandwhole.com).
But we learned vividly: You never know that God is all you need until He is all you’ve got.
If you find yourself in a “dungeon” today, praise the One in Heaven who can rescue you. Have faith in His power to deliver and call out to Him with all your strength. He if faithful!
Call on me in the day of trouble; I will rescue you and you will honor me. (Psalm 50:15)