Daily Devotional: Psalms 16:7-11
7 I will praise the LORD, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me. 8 I have set the LORD always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. 9 Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure, 10 because you will not abandon me to the grave, nor will you let your Holy one see decay. 11 You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.
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.
And we think life is not fair to us and that we have problems! There was a young slave girl who was possessed with a demonic spirit that allowed her to tell the future. Her owners were getting rich from this malady. Paul and Silas commanded the evil spirit to leave her and it did. The owners, realizing their personal loss, stirred up the crowd and Paul and Silas were beaten and imprisoned.
Rather than feeling sorry for themselves or complaining about their plight, they were singing and praising God in the middle of the night. Peter later wrote that when we suffer as a Christian we should praise God that we are worthy to suffer in his name. Peter knew what this actually meant because in the earliest days of the church, he and John were beaten for preaching the resurrection of Jesus and they had praised God that they were counted worthy to suffer for him.
Whatever we face in life, fair or unfair, harsh or gentle, easy or hard to bear, we can know that God is with us and will take care of us. He may allow us to suffer or even be beaten and killed but since our goal is our home in heaven with him, he is still with us all the way. Remember Enoch who walked with God for 300 years and then God took him. When we walk with God we can go home with him too.
My Father in heaven, holy and reverend is your name in all the earth. Your power and majesty is seen in all of your creation. Help me keep the eyes of my heart set on you, on Jesus and on the eternal home you have prepared for all who love you and live for you. Increase my faith to be willing to suffer for you and to still praise you. Lord, I ask a special blessing on those who are being persecuted – even to death – for serving you. Give them your peace. I pray in the name of Jesus.