Daily Devotional: Psalms 5:1-3
1 Give ear to my words, O LORD, consider my sighing. 2 Listen to my cry for help, my King and my God, for to you I pray. 3 In the morning, O LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation.
22 The crowd joined in the attack against Paul and Silas, and the magistrates ordered them to be stripped and beaten. 23 After they had been severely flogged, they were thrown into prison, and the jailer was commanded to guard them carefully. 24 Upon receiving such orders, he put them in the inner cell and fastened their feet in the stocks. 25 About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them.
Paul and Silas had been preaching the word of God in Philippi and had come upon a young slave girl who had been possessed. She had been following them and crying out to those around that these men and their teaching were from God. This had annoyed Paul so he cast out the spirit by which she was doing this. Her owners had been making money with the girl and her powers so they became angry, caused an uproar and had Paul and Silas arrested.
If you and I had been beaten for doing good to someone, how would we react to this kind of mistreatment? Would we have been praying and singing praises at midnight or would we have been engrossed in self-pity?
Several years before this, Peter and the apostles were beaten by the Council in Jerusalem for preaching Jesus. When they were released, they went away praising God that they had been counted worthy of suffering for the name of Jesus. There was no self-pity or animosity against the rulers who had done this. When Stephen was stoned to death for preaching the gospel, he prayed for those who were throwing the rocks at him that God would not hold their sin against them.
No matter where we are or what our circumstances, God can hear our cry and will answer our prayers. We must put our trust in him and know that we are ever safe in the arms of Jesus. Paul says that God has so much invested in us now that he could never forsake us or give up on us. So we will not give up on him.
O God, thank you for the love you have shown me in Jesus. Give me courage to speak your word and stand for your truth, even when it is not popular. Keep me from polluting your word or watering it down to please those who hear it. Use me to lead others to Jesus and show them your great love in him. I need your wisdom to know how to say the right things at the right time and to keep silent when that is needed too. Lord, I and my readers have those on our hearts that are sick and suffering so we ask your blessings on them. I pray in the name of Jesus.