TODAY’S SPECIAL: Acts 16:23-34

TO CHEW ON: "About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them." Acts 16:25

"Earthquake in the prison" - Sir James Thornhill

What things would fill you with joy?

1. Getting a new pet.
2. Winning a contest.
3. Being teased about being a Christian.
4. Finishing a hard job.
5. Being arrested for helping someone.

My guess is you didn’t choose 3. and 5. But Paul and Silas were joyful even after helping someone and being put in jail for it.

After the Philippi officials beat them, Paul and Silas were locked in a jail cell for helping the slave girl. But they didn’t get angry, complain, whine or grumble. Instead they prayed and sang hymns.

What happened next gave them even more reason for joy. An earthquake shook the jail. Their chains came loose. The doors flew open.

The jailer, afraid that everyone would escape, was ready to harm himself.

"Paul and Silas with the Jailer" - Artist unknown

But Paul and Silas didn’t run. Instead they calmed the desperate jailer and told him no one was going to escape.

Maybe Paul and Silas’s reaction to their beating made the jailor curious. Maybe the prayers they prayed and the songs they sang made him want to know their God. Because the jailer then asked them a strange question. What was it? (Acts 16:30) 1.______________.

The Philippian Jailer - Artist unknown

The jailor and his family accepted Jesus that night and were baptized. Then he and his family were also filled with (Acts 16:34) 2. ______________.

When we live for Jesus He gives us this unexplainable joy. Things around us might be falling apart. We might be in big trouble. But still, we are joyful because we know Jesus is with us. He takes care of us and gives us joy even in the middle of problems,

PRAYER: Dear Jesus, thank You that the joy You give us is stronger than the things that go wrong in our lives. Amen.

MORE: Jails

- Find out about jails in Bible times
- Look at a picture of Philippian jail ruins which may be the prison where Paul and Silas were kept.