HOW COULD THEY?
Worship comes easy. You don't believe me? Just ask two men
who were beaten and imprisoned. Do you ever wonder how Paul
and Silas could worship God in the midst of a Philippian jail?
Let's avoid the common practice of exalting these noble men but,
going deeper, investigate why they chose worship over complaint.
Paul and Silas are great examples for us. They faced adversity
in a way that was and is not typical. How could they worship in
the midnight hour?
Often, mankind will counter trouble with prayer but, in this
instance, the men of God ignored their wounds and turned their
affections toward the most beautiful, worthy, and glorious being,
God Almighty. The song they sang is unknown, but what we do
know is that the greatness of God overshadowed anything else
for Paul and Silas.
Worship cannot be used as a mystical tool to take away wounds.
Rather, what we can know about God is so great that it eclipses
anything, whether bad or good, that we face. The apostle Paul
was beaten three times with rods, was given the death sentence
by stoning, was whipped five times with 39 lashes, and was
shipwrecked twice. Yet, he was able to call all this "light
afflictions" (2 Corinthians 4:17)
Were Paul and Silas super-human? No. The truth is that they
were men like us. The difference was that they focused on the
greatness of God. They were so moved by who God is that
nothing they faced in life deserved the attention that God was
God far and away exceeds anything that exists. God is so
wonderful and great, our only appropriate response is worship.
We can search out scripture that tells us many things about who
God is, but it all comes down to our choice to gaze upon Him.
I am grateful for the words that we have, but God is greater than
mere words can express, so I will worship with more than words
or song. His greatness will cause me to worship at all times - in
the prison, in the trial, and in blessings.
Jesus Christ, the exact representation of the Father (Hebrews
1:3) caused sinners like Zaccheus to change his practices of theft
and caused a woman of disrepute to clean his feet with her tears
and hair (Luke 7:36-39). The wonder of who he is will one day
cause all knees to bow in homage. (Philippians 2:1) No one will
be forced to bow, but in his presence, no one will be able to resist
worshiping the Creator.
How can we worship? By seeing just who God is. Good things
and bad things will try to block our vision of who God is. It is up
to us to keep our focus on the majestic and holy greatness of
God. I am certain that is how Paul and Silas could do it.
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