Pastor Rick Lipira: Morning Devotion 07/27/22
Wednesday, July 27, 2022
I will sing of His praises even when I don’t physically feel like it!
Then the multitude rose up together against them; and the magistrates tore off their clothes and commanded them to be beaten with rods. And when they had laid many stripes on them, they threw them into prison, commanding the jailer to keep them securely. Having received such a charge, he put them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks. 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, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened, and everyone’s chains were loosed. (Acts 16:22-26)
Paul and Silas have just gotten themselves beaten with rods, arrested, and thrown into jail. What awful crime did they commit? For one, preaching the gospel in the City of Philippi and secondly, casting the demon out of a fortune telling girl. When she lost the ability to tell the future because the demon was cast out, her owners lost a considerable amount of income. Therefore, a mob was stirred up, a riot ensued, and Paul and Silas find themselves stripped, beaten, and tossed into prison. Not just a prison cell but stocks for their feet and an inner cell where there was no chance for escape. This whole circumstance sounds bigger than God to me.
So much of our life is controlled by how we feel. We do things because we feel like it and choose not to do things because we don’t feel like it. I must admit had this been me, praise and worship would not be my first thoughts. It would have more been, “why God have you allowed this to happen, I am out there doing Your work”. I find as I get older, I have more aches and pains then I care to admit, and they influence the activities I am involved in. Bleeding skin, sore muscles, and an uncomfortable posture in stocks does not normally lend itself to praise and worship. These men have real reason for concern because there is no guarantee they will get out of here; this may be their death sentence. Ahh, the unknown.
There are so many concerns, troubles, and rough waters ahead we do not have the time to even think about praise and worship. Our plate is full of worry if nothing else. The Bible says, “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you”. (I Thess. 5:16-18) David said as he fled for his life from Saul, “I will Praise the Lord at all times. I will constantly speak His praises.” (Ps. 34:1-2) Sometimes we just cannot physically muster the energy to praise Him, that is where we rely on His strength.
Last week we talked about keeping our eyes fixed on eternity because it is a hope beyond earthly situations. I have found when I am obedient to the Lord especially in my weakest moments, that’s when He shows up biggest. Not only are we blessed and lifted personally, but our witness to others is its strongest. As a result of Paul and Silas’ actions the jailer received salvation and his family. There is a world of people watching your actions and we must not disappoint them. Pastor Rick Lipira