Wow. I was reading Acts 16 today for my Bible study and once again read the story of Paul and Silas getting thrown in jail for casting a demon out of a slave girl. She told fortunes, and the Bible stated she got her powers from a demon. Her owners didn't care, because she was making them money!
So when Paul cast the spirit out of her, they were mad, because they're money-maker no longer made money! They were beaten, flogged publicly, had no trial, they were in a thrown in the dungeon of the prison, their feet in chains, it was midnight, and guess what they were doing? Sleeping? Crying? Cursing?
They were singing hymns and praising God. See, they KNEW God had plans for them. They KNEW that God would take care of them. When their chains were miraculously loosed, they did not leave! Why? Because they knew the jailer would be punished. In fact, when the jailer awoke and saw all the prison doors open, he drew his sword and was going to fall on it.
Paul told him that all of the prisoners were still there and accounted for. The jailer asked what he had to do to be saved. Paul told him to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, then the jailer took them to his home where he and his whole family were baptised.
You see, Paul and Silas went through all of this not for themselves...the miracle wasn't for Paul and Silas. The miracle was for the jailer. Yes, God gave them strength to endure their hardship. They could not have known they were going to end up in prison.
Yes, the slave girl was set free from her demon.
But the jailer...He received the REAL miracle. The gift of eternal life through Jesus.
I will never be Paul. I'm not sure I could stand in the dungeon of a prison at midnight after being beaten and sing praises. I just don't know if I could do that.
But I want to be the kind of person who uses my circumstances for God's glory. If ONE person can benefit by something I have gone through, I am okay with it. I have my good days, and I have my bad days...but most of all, I just want people to know there is Hope. And His name is Jesus.