Saints Paul and Silas lived a life of praise. They never lost hope. Even in the midst of a dire situation, their love of Christ raised them from their troubles.
They praised God in their troubles, because they loved the Lord despite their circumstances. They were able to preach to the jailer because they loved the jailer, despite his role in their situation. As Christians, we are not supposed to pick and choose when we love God, nor should we pick and choose who is or is not worthy of our love here on earth.
Each of us has the opportunity to be the face of Christ, not only to those who we love deeply, but also to those we do not know.
We are called to a deeper love—one that does not expect reciprocity. It is a love that if offered freely and openly, on bad days and good, can convert hearts. This is a love towards strangers and neighbors and coworkers and family. Those we love deeply and those we do not know.
As we grow in our faith and become able to praise Him even in our darkest moments, we reflect the light of Christ to others. Living the faith is the best way to share the faith, and sharing the faith can save souls.
So let us proclaim the Good News, in our words and in our deeds, in good times and bad, and who knows how many lives we can save.
Is it easy? No.
We all have our own troubles, but we get to invite the Lord into our challenges and failures and flaws.
Are you spiritually imprisoned now, held emotionally or spiritually captive by your circumstances? Offer the Lord your love and praise anyway, and expect with the greatest hope that He will loosen your chains.
Read more about this time in Saints Paul and Silas' journey here in Acts 16.
Dr. MaryRuth Hackett is the host of the podcast Parenting Smarts. She loves historical fiction, dark chocolate, watching her children play soccer, a good cup of coffee (decaf please) and the quiet of the early morning. She holds a PhD in Educational Psychology and has a passion for helping parents understand the way their children grow and develop. She is a contributing author to our children's devotional prayer book called Rise Up. You can find out more about her here.