Are You in Prison?

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Does the place in life right now feel like you are in prison? You are stuck. No place to go? No hope for you? You don’t see any light at the end of the tunnel?

Read this with me; starting at Acts 16:16

And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination met us, which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying:
 The same followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation.
 And this did she many days. But Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out the same hour.
 And when her masters saw that the hope of their gains was gone, they caught Paul and Silas, and drew them into the marketplace unto the rulers,
 And brought them to the magistrates, saying, These men, being Jews, do exceedingly trouble our city,
And teach customs, which are not lawful for us to receive, neither to observe, being Romans.
 And the multitude rose up together against them: and the magistrates rent off their clothes, and commanded to beat them.
 And when they had laid many stripes upon them, they cast them into prison, charging the jailor to keep them safely:
Who, having received such a charge, thrust them into the inner prison, and made their feet fast in the stocks.

close up of a chain

So we see Paul and Silas. Teaching the Truth. They had just freed that poor damsel; from the bonds that Satan held her in. They had just exposed the people that were using her. They had just ruined their hope of getting more money, more power from her ‘satan predicting the future’ spirit.
When the men realized that they were ruined they made a big stink. They caught Paul and Silas and riled up the people. They all got so worked up they put them in jail.
Let’s read some more. This is verse 25:

And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them.

 

REALLY!!?? They were singing and praying. In Jail. At midnight?

I know we’ve all hear the story. Many times. Yet this morning it hit me a different way.

Sometimes I feel like the situation I am in is a prison. I see no way out. There seems to be no light at the end of the tunnel. No solution to my problem.

Anyone else?

Anyone else feel stuck? Feel like you are in a prison?

If you are like me, you feel this way at times. A job you have to stay at, a church you feel led to be in and yet feel trapped by the traditions of it, long winter days at home with children, a school routine you can’t change and summer is too far away.

What ever your prison looks like. Our first reaction is to be bitter. Our first reaction is to be angry. Our reaction is to grumble and gripe. Generally we try to find others to grumble and gripe with us. (Misery loves company.)

Does anything change? We we give in to these normal first reactions; does anything change? Does anything get better?

{Just a reminder— this is speaking to me first— I will be the first to admit I pout, I get angry, I get bitter. I seek out people to sit in my mud puddle to mope with me.}

 

Look at the chapter in Acts. What did Paul and Silas do?

They accepted the situation they were in. {Ouch.}

They were singing. They were praising God.

Maybe they didn’t start singing till midnight. Maybe they moped around until then. Maybe they were angry till then. We don’t know— we do know that they were human, just like us. I imagine that they looked broken like we do at times. I imagine they had to go thru the steps of grief like we do, when things are rough. I imagine they had anger to get over. They had just been BEATEN. They had hurts; physical, mental and emotional hurts. They had worries, they had sadness. They probably felt that trapped feeling, looking at the many doors between themselves and the freedom outside.

YET. They got there. They got to a place of healing. They got to a place where they could sing again. They got there. They got to a place where they could praise God again. It may have taken them several hours; but they got there. They maybe spent from 7pm till 11:30 dealing with their raw emotions;

YET at midnight, they were singing. They were praising God.

 

Just like them, we have to get to the point that; whatever prison we find ourselves in-

that we are singing and praising God.

 
We may have days of bitterness. Hours of sorrow. Weeks of hurt and anger to deal with.

We HAVE to deal with it though.

We have to face the hurt head on and deal with the raw emotions. We have to face the ugly sin in our life, the ugly emotions in our life and work thru it. We have to heal.

We can only heal by running to Jesus. He is the balm for our hurts. He is the only one that can heal our hurts. The beatings we feel like we’ve got, the mistreatment from other people; Only He can heal them.  

He sees the raw emotions that we are feeling.

The prison we are in; He sees it.

He see it.  He knows why.
{{More to come on Friday}}

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