Hope in the darkness: Acts 16 (28 July 2020)

Bible Society's Daily Reflections follow the M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, designed for those who want to read the whole Bible in one year. Each reflection focuses on one of its four daily chapters. Darllenwch rhain yn Gymraeg.

Pray

Pray

Lord, open my ears to hear what you have to say to me; open my heart to love your word, and open my mind to understand your truth.

Reflect

Daily reflection: Acts 16

After Paul and Silas released a slave girl from a demonic spirit, her owners, who were exploiting her, had Paul and Silas arrested. During their incarceration they were heavily guarded and locked in stocks – a pretty dismal situation. One reaction that we can have to tough situations in which it seems there is no escape is despair. Sometimes we lose hope and express lament and mourning when we feel trapped in a situation. However, Paul and Silas expressed themselves through praise and prayer. Instead of mourning, they revealed their deep hope and faith in God.

The Bible is full of passages of lament for bad situations that the nation of Israel finds itself in. There is a place for lament and it can be a healthy form of human response to a bad situation. However, this passage demonstrates that there is an alternative to despair. Paul and Silas lean on their knowledge that God is good, even though their situation seems bleak.

When they were miraculously freed from prison, their trust in God caused them to wait rather than immediately seeing their chance and fleeing. This allowed them to witness to the jailer who, having seen all the unlocked doors and imagined the trouble he would be in, was about to take his own life. Their demonstration of hope and dependence on God led to the salvation of the jailer and the prisoners who were in their dark situation with them.

Pray

Pray

Dear God, please help me to remember your goodness even when I am in difficult circumstances. Help me to have hope when there is no way to see through the darkness, and to wait on you even when it seems there is an easy way out.

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