“The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas. He then brought them out and asked, ‘Sirs, what must I do to be saved?’ They replied, ‘Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved – you and your whole household.’ Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in his house. At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his household were baptized.” - Acts 16:29-34
Paul and Silas should not have been thrown into prison. They should not have been mistreated like this, for they had broken no law. They had not harmed anyone. And yet here they are, beaten and imprisoned in the dead of night. Yet from that dark, lonely, cold place there is joy. There is peace. There is faith. And from the overflow of God’s grace in their lives rises songs of praise.
Suddenly, the earth begins to shake and shift. Bars are broken and chains fall to the ground. In a panic the Philippian jailer, who will die for their escape, draws his sword to take his own life…until Paul stops him. “Don’t! We are all here,” Paul shouts (paraphrase mine). What follows is nothing short of miraculous. God opens a door (literally) for Paul and Silas to share the Gospel with their captor and his family. God opens the eyes and heart of this man and his entire household to trust Christ and be baptized – that very night.
When we hear such stories, our minds and hearts should be drawn to consider all of the circumstances God has orchestrated in our lives. Circumstances that may have made no sense to us at the time, but now in hindsight point to His sovereign hand of grace that drew us to Him. Think of what God has orchestrated so that you might know Him. Think of the people who crossed your path, the places He appointed you to be just so you would hear the Gospel and be saved. And He did it while we were running from Him…while we were dead in our sins and unable to save ourselves.
Do you trust the grace of God? No matter where you find yourself today, no matter what circumstance you are facing, you too can have a song of praise. He holds your life in His hands, and uses everything for your good, for others’ good, and for His glory.
Father, thank You for Your grace in my life. Help me to trust You even when my circumstances don’t make sense to me. Give me deeper faith, so that I may always be singing of Your salvation. In Jesus’ name, amen.