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Peace in Hard Times

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Peace in Hard Times

About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose (Acts 16:25-26 NIV).

Throughout the Bible, you find many passages that speak of enduring hard times. The apostle Paul was no stranger to hard times. His life seemed to be one difficulty right after another. He was imprisoned multiple times and his body bears the marks from beatings he received in prison.

  • He was whipped five times with the measure of 39 stripes. His back must have been a mess.
  • He was beaten three times with rods on the back of his legs. I imagine he could not walk. Luke the physician traveled with him documenting his travels and tending to his wounds.
  • Paul was stoned once and left for dead.
  • He was shipwrecked many times, left in the deep a day and a half.
  • He endured a poisonous snakebite.

He endured hunger, thirst, cold nakedness, sleeplessness—difficulties too numerous to count.

When Paul planted the church at Philippi, it was in the midst of intense opposition and extreme difficulty.[1] Paul starts the church; Lydia gets saved. Then Paul and Silas are arrested; their clothes are stripped from them and they are beaten violently without a trial. When we experience violence, it is one of the hardest things to understand.

Paul and Silas must have been in excruciating pain, chained to their prison guards. Yet, they prayed and sang joyful hymns in the craziness. What a picture of their character.[2] The prison guards were listening to them. Suddenly there was a great earthquake and everyone’s chains fell off.[3] Paul’s jailer and his family received Christ that day.

There is a secret to praising God in our adversity. We must arm ourselves in the hard times. The only way to experience peace in hard times is to look carefully at what God is doing in the adversity.

Listen online for more on this topic – Peace in Hard Times.

[1] Acts 16

[2] Acts 16:26

[3] Acts 16:26

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About Ron Bontrager

Lead Pastor of Lakeview Church in Indianapolis.

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