In the book of Acts, there is an incredible story about two of God’s servants, Paul and Silas. On one particular Sabbath day, in the city of Philippi, Paul cast out a spirit of divination from a girl who was following them.
When the spirit was cast out of her, the master of the possessed slave girl had them beaten and laid in prison (Acts 16:16-24 Acts 16:16-24 16 And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination met us, which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying:
17 The same followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, These men are the servants of the most high God, which show to us the way of salvation.
18 And this did she many days. But Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out the same hour.
19 And when her masters saw that the hope of their gains was gone, they caught Paul and Silas, and drew them into the marketplace to the rulers,
20 And brought them to the magistrates, saying, These men, being Jews, do exceedingly trouble our city,
21 And teach customs, which are not lawful for us to receive, neither to observe, being Romans.
22 And the multitude rose up together against them: and the magistrates rent off their clothes, and commanded to beat them.
23 And when they had laid many stripes on them, they cast them into prison, charging the jailor to keep them safely:
24 Who, having received such a charge, thrust them into the inner prison, and made their feet fast in the stocks.
American King James Version×). “But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was a great earthquake,” and their chains were released (Acts 16:25-26 Acts 16:25-26 25 And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises to God: and the prisoners heard them. 26 And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one’s bands were loosed.
American King James Version×). If this miracle wasn’t enough, God then used this opportunity to call the prison guards to repentance and baptism. They all “rejoiced, having believed in God” and became a part of the body of Christ (Acts 16:34 Acts 16:34And when he had brought them into his house, he set meat before them, and rejoiced, believing in God with all his house.
American King James Version×).
These servants of God truly found joy in tribulation by singing and acknowledging that only God could save them from oppression. Even if God chose not to save them, they sang a song of faith, submission and trust in the will of God. I can’t help but imagine Paul and Silas harmonizing to a beautiful hymn with words similar to Psalms 59:16-17 Psalms 59:16-17 16 But I will sing of your power; yes, I will sing aloud of your mercy in the morning: for you have been my defense and refuge in the day of my trouble.
17 To you, O my strength, will I sing: for God is my defense, and the God of my mercy.
American King James Version×: “But I will sing of Your power; yes, I will sing aloud of Your mercy in the morning; for you have been my defense and refuge in the day of my trouble. To you, O my Strength, I will sing praises for God is my defense, my God of mercy.” Each line must have carried victorious tones of confidence in God’s great glory and power over all. What a humbling and purifying way to serve the living God in harmony!
“So be truly glad! There is wonderful joy ahead, even though it is necessary for you to endure many trials for a while. These trials are only to test your faith, to show that it is strong and pure. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—and your faith is far more precious to God than mere gold. So if your faith remains strong after being tried by fiery trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world. You love him even though you have never seen him. Though you do not see him, you trust him; and even now you are happy with a glorious, inexpressible joy. Your reward for trusting him will be the salvation of your souls” (1 Peter 1:6-9 1 Peter 1:6-9 6 Wherein you greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, you are in heaviness through manifold temptations:
7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perishes, though it be tried with fire, might be found to praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:
8 Whom having not seen, you love; in whom, though now you see him not, yet believing, you rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:
9 Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.
American King James Version×, NLT).
Let’s sing His name with great honor and thanks as the special children of God.