“But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them.” Acts 16:25 (NKJV)
Imagine you wake up in the morning, and it’s a beautiful day. You praise God as you head out into the world, but the day turns out to be nothing like you expected. People are turning on you, anger and pain surrounds you; even loved ones seem to be against you. The noise of the world becomes almost too loud to bear; your past comes to bear down against you.
Or worse yet, what if by the end of the day you found yourself unjustly put in jail: sitting on a cold slab of concrete, with the smell of urine and body odor filling the cell and the person next to you shaking violently as they withdraw from drugs.
Would there still be a place in your heart for prayer? Would you want to sing praises? Paul and Silas knew this circumstance; in fact, theirs was even worse. They were beaten within inches of their lives. Yet their hearts were not broken. Their hearts were filled with Him, our Lord, our God; out of their mouths came the joy of His Spirit, in song and in prayer.
How could gazing at Jesus in prayer and praise transform your worst days?
God, thank You that You never change. You are always faithful. If today turns out to be wonderful, I can praise You. If it turns out to be difficult, I can rise above the circumstance through prayer and praise. Help me turn to You at the worst and best of times. Amen.
Thought: If you’re having a rough day today, just open your mouth and tell God one thing you love about him. Then try it again and again and again, until His joy fills you and you see Him as bigger than your circumstances.
“Let him who boasts boast in the Lord.” For it is not the one who commends himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends.” 2 Corinthians 10:17-18
We live in a world with skewed values, false promises and fleeting fame. What can we boast in other than the steadfastness of the Lord’s love, the incredible riches of the Lord’s grace, the incomparable supply of the Lord’s blessings, the sweetness of the Lord’s people, the mercy of the Lord’s plan for our salvation, the promise of the Lord’s tomorrow, the…..? What other meaningful boast is there than the Lord and his eternal grace?
Lord of majesty and mercy, every good and enduring thing in my life I have because of you. While these words are simple, they are heartfelt. In Jesus’ name, thank you!