As I was lying here waiting to get out of my comfy cozy bed, I was replaying some of the events of the past couple days. Unfortunately, I was revisiting some of the challenges I’ve been experiencing.
I could feel myself wanting to replay the negative emotions that come with challenges. As I recalled each situation, I did my best to pray through these emotions and memories and ask God to truly help me move past and beyond the garbage. Not always an easy task.
Then I had a thought. I remember Paul and Silas, the story where they were in prison and at midnight, they began to praise Jesus. As they praised Him, the shackles were undone and the walls caved so they were free to walk out if they so chose to. So I politely asked Jesus to help me look up instead of around and began praying the Lord’s prayer, then moved on to sing some worship songs in my head.
As I began to let my soul sing, I began to feel the weight lift. It was getting a little easier to move beyond the situation. I then began recalling some of the thoughts of hope that God has given me regarding the future and what’s to come.
I got to thinking that unfortunately, when I have those bad vision moments, what it really does is suck the joy out of me. And when the joy is sucked out, all that happens is pretty much nothing .. stagnation .. like Paul and Silas, seeing myself in prison.
However, through God’s grace, when I get through the moment by praising Jesus and getting beyond, not only is my joy restored, but God grants us the ability to actually help others. It’s as if joy is the energy that allows us to walk on the water and reach down and help others walk on the water too.
Paul and Silas didn’t simply walk out of the prison, they actually stayed and ministered to the prison guard, saving him from suicide and then saving the man and his house through baptism.
The really amazing part .. get this .. if I’m reading the scripture correctly, Act 16:35 tells us they must have gone back to the jail because it tells us the next day that the magistrates sent the serjeants to set the men free! They didn’t run while they had the chance .. they actually waited for God’s prompting to be released! This amazes me!
Not only did praising God create an earthquake to give the men the allowance to be free, but because the men waited on God, ministering through the challenge, the men were not only released, but the incident created a wave to let people know without doubt .. this was God’s doing.
Sometimes, we are so quick to want to move through the trial that we forget about the importance of the tool of praise and joy through the bad.
Wow! Let the walls be shaken!