Divine Appointments

“At midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the (other) prisoners were listening to them.” Acts 16:25

Paul and Silas were in a most unusual circumstance even for them. They had been “beaten with rods” and thrown into the most secure part of the prison without medical help for their wounds and cuts. Though humanly speaking they had a bleak outlook they were not in the least down cast. They saw their situation as a divine appointment, a gift from God, so instead of griping and complaining they worshipped the Lord.

They couldn’t know what the outcome of their imprisonment would be but they knew the One who was able to keep them in prison or deliver them as He chose, when He chose and in the way He chose. Paul and Silas believed what the Lord had said, I will never leave you nor forsake you. That is why they didn’t complain. They knew this was the Lord’s appointment for them whatever the outcome.

Their singing and praying out loud gave the Lord the opportunity to draw a whole household to Himself and possibly some prisoners as well. In John 17:7 Jesus says that if anyone wants to know the truth about Him, He takes responsibility to ensure they hear that truth. On this occasion he sent Paul and Silas by having them arrested, beaten and placed securely in prison. That is how Jesus brought the Gospel to a prison warden and his family.

Instead of complaining about the situation in which the Lord had placed them Paul and Silas worshipped Him.

We are inclined to grumble and complain and this prevents the Holy Spirit taking advantage of our divine appointments. In every situation we have a choice. We can either complain to God or worship God.

Complaining about God’s appointments for you will turn people away from the Lord by hindering the Holy Spirit’s ministry whereas worshipping the Lord will draw people to Him. Our choice will determine the outcome not only for ourselves but also for those who are witnesses to our circumstances.

It was only in hindsight that Paul and Silas would see what the Lord had been doing – and so it will be in our lives. Let us replace whining and complaining with prayer and singing and see what the Lord will accomplish through us.

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