Praising God is an essential aspect of our Christian walk, it is something that we should do out of obedience to Christ and out of the overflow in our hearts. In the good times, on the mountain tops, praising God seems easy and effortless. But what about when the storms are all around you? When you are facing trials, do you find it more difficult to worship and praise God? Sure. I do too. But the truth is, amazing things can happen when we are obedient and praise God through our trials. It is a major faith builder to praise God through storms…let’s look at some.
The story of Paul and Silas is a great example. One day they were out preaching the gospel and on this particular day they were in a marketplace and met a fortune-teller who was essentially taunting them. Finally, Paul had enough, and cast out the spirit. However, this did not go over well with the fortune tellers bosses since they wouldn’t be able to make any more money off of her. And this is where we pick up the story:
A mob quickly formed against Paul and Silas, and the city officials ordered them stripped and beaten with wooden rods. They were severely beaten, and then they were thrown into prison. The jailer was ordered to make sure they didn’t escape. So the jailer put them into the inner dungeon and clamped their feet in the stocks.
Around midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening. Suddenly, there was a massive earthquake, and the prison was shaken to its foundations. All the doors immediately flew open, and the chains of every prisoner fell off! The jailer woke up to see the prison doors wide open. He assumed the prisoners had escaped, so he drew his sword to kill himself. But Paul shouted to him, “Stop! Don’t kill yourself! We are all here!”
The jailer called for lights and ran to the dungeon and fell down trembling before Paul and Silas. Then he 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, along with everyone in your household.” And they shared the word of the Lord with him and with all who lived in his household. Even at that hour of the night, the jailer cared for them and washed their wounds. Then he and everyone in his household were immediately baptized. He brought them into his house and set a meal before them, and he and his entire household rejoiced because they all believed in God. Acts 16:22-34 [emphasis mine]
Wow, what a story! Makes you rethink your issues and realize that we don’t always have it all that bad. Now, I would suggest to go back and read on the lines that I made bold. There is a reason why I wanted those to stand out. There is an incredible thing that happens when you praise God through trials. Think of these men. They were severely beaten, falsely accused, and imprisoned for no good reason. Yet, while in prison, they prayed and worshipped God! They were obedient and worshipped God through their storm…and what happened?
Their chains broke off!
Apply that to your life. When you praise God through your trials, your chains will fall off. Praise God.
But there is something else that is unbelievable. If I ended this post here. It would be good enough but Re-read what I made bold, “the chains of every prisoner fell off!” Wait, what?!
When you praise God through your trials, not only will you experience freedom, but so will those around you!
This puts a whole new perspective on going through trials and storms. Maybe God allows us to go through certain seasons not just for us, but so we can help others experience the freedom they need.
Whatever you need freedom or deliverance from today, praise God through it. Watch your chains fall off and then listen for those around you who find freedom as well.