Do you suffer from injury, pain, disease or depression? Suffering has been a part of life from the time of Adam and Eve, and we all handle it in different ways. It’s a huge topic and difficult for me to know where to begin, but I want to tell you about the benefits of praise. The Bible records how many people dealt with pain. Job lost his family, wealth and health. I cannot imagine the pain of his boils, so severe he scraped them with shards of pottery–and he complained. Who wouldn’t?
In contrast, Paul and Silas were beaten with rods and put into the deepest, darkest part of prison with their feet in stocks. How unbearable their pain must have been! In the middle of the night they sang praises to God. They got the attention of the other prisoners and the jailer. Then it happened! An earthquake shook the jail. The cell doors flew open, and all the prisoners were free to go, but they stayed for the salvation of the jailer and his family.
Peter and John healed a paralyzed man and used the miracle to tell how the government and the temple leaders crucified Jesus, the Lord of glory, and how He rose from the grave for the salvation of those who believed. The temple rulers ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus, but they said, “Which is right in God’s eyes: to listen to you, or to him? You be the judges! As for us, we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard,” (Acts 4:19). The officials could not agree on how to punish them and so released them. Peter and John returned to their people to report what had happened and to give prayer and praise to God for His mighty works to save them (Acts 4).
THINK ABOUT IT
Most of us have not suffered like Job, been beaten and imprisoned like Paul and Silas or persecuted like Peter and John. However, things are changing quickly in our world. Are we ready to face persecution and suffering for what we believe? We might have to.
PRAY ABOUT I
Holy Lord, gracious Father, draw us so close to you that we will be confident in the day of testing. Speak boldly in us and give us peace even in suffering. In Jesus’ name, Amen.