The Result of True Praise
Verse 34 The jailer brought them into his house and set a meal before them; he was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God—he and his whole household.
We have followed praise through the good times and the bad and watched creation praise Him through obedience, but what is the end result of our pure gifts of praise?
God’s response to the praise of His men in the dungeon was to send an earthquake. But this earthquake wasn’t to free His men but rather to further the ministry that He had given them to do. See, God knew that His men being put in prison would allow their praise to bring Him greater glory than if they had been allowed to stay free.
Because they didn’t use the earthquake to their advantage, Paul and Silas were able to use their choice of obedience to praise God for God’s bigger plan. When the jailer feels the violently shaking earth he was sure that he would be killed because of the prisoners escape. But God had sent His men to be there praising Him which had actually been a way of sharing the Gospel with those in prison with them. And when the ground shook and the walls fell down around the prisoners they weren’t panicked nor were they excited to be free. They stayed where they were.
When Paul and Silas announced that everyone was still there and so there was no reason for the jailer to kill himself, the man can’t help but know it had something to do with these men of God. He begged them to know how he could be saved. This is a direct result of their choice to praise in the dungeon. If they had balked and caused trouble, complaining that they were there because they had been wronged, this jailer would not have seen the glory of God displayed so plainly.
True praise is something that should bring God glory and draw others to Him. This is one way we can show Him to the world around us. When they see us still praising Him during the trials of our lives they will know that there is something different about God’s people and they will want to know more. Our choice to joyfully praise shines His light brightly in the darkness of the world around us.
Making It Personal
Have you ever been drawn closer to God through the praise of someone else? Have you lived in a way that others could have been drawn to Him because of your praising Him through the storms of life? What do you need to praise Him about today?
Making It Personal Kids
Have you ever watched someone praise Jesus even though they were having troubles in their lives? Have you ever had troubles and yet still praised Jesus? Do others know that you praise Jesus?
Father, there are so many reasons to praise You. May our praise be a way that others come to know You in all Your glory. In Jesus’ name, amen.