Never Let Your Song Be Silenced
Never let your song be silenced.
In troubling and uncertain times, it can be so easy to lose our joy, let fear creep in and tighten its grip around us and let our song be silenced. With so much going on around us it can be difficult to find our song again.
Thinking about this brought me back to the story of Paul and Silas in the Bible. There is one specific part of their story that I want to pay attention to, and I encourage you to read Acts 16 for the full picture.
“After they had been severely flogged, they were thrown into prison, and the jailer was commanded to guard them carefully. When he received these orders, he put them in the inner cell and fastened their feet in the stocks” (Acts 16:23-24).
I can’t fully understand how they must have felt but if that were me, I can imagine it would be easy to have feelings of hurt, pain, fear, hopelessness, helplessness, and darkness surround me in that cell. To find my song in the middle of such a terrible situation with no end in sight would surely seem near impossible.
But what Paul and Silas did next demonstrates exactly why, in the midst of those dark and hopeless situations, there is always hope.
“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).
Paul and Silas didn’t allow the darkness around them to silence their song. In that cell, in those chains, they chose to proclaim their song of hope and joy. Not only were they free from their chains and then released from prison, but the jailer and his entire household were saved!
My encouragement to you is this: whatever your situation is, don’t let your song be silenced. Proclaim your song and your breakthrough will come
“The LORD is good to those who depend on him, to those who search for him. So it is good to wait quietly for salvation from the Lord.” – Lamentations 3:25-26 NLT
It takes time for seeds to grow. All farmers wish this were not true. They would love to plant seeds one day and reap a harvest the next. But through experience, they learn they must wait for a harvest.
This principle applies to every area of life even to spiritual things. Our human desire is to see quick results, that God’s help would appear instantly, but the waiting process seems inevitable, just as it is for the farmer. Through life experiences, we learn that there is a time to sow and a time to reap (Ecclesiastes 3:2), separated by a time of waiting.
Yet many give up or become discouraged when they do not see immediate results. They want to sow today and reap tomorrow, but that does not happen. The Bible even promises that God will be “good to those who depend on Him.”
Yes, reaping a harvest takes time. We must be persistent to plant seeds and then learn to wait patiently. Have faith in God, fully expecting that He will produce results in His time!
Make sure that you are sowing seeds into God’s Kingdom. Always remember the importance of waiting and trusting in Him. He has promised that if you sow faithfully, you will reap a harvest in due season. Continue to have faith, and don’t give up! And remember that God is good to “those who depend on Him, to those who search for Him.”
Reflection Question: What kind of seeds has God given you to sow into His Kingdom?
Who are elected?
By: Charles Spurgeon
‘And the Lord said, Arise, anoint him, for this is he.’ 1 Samuel 16:12
Suggested Further Reading: Psalm 23:1–6
I have laboured in your presence to preach up the privilege of strong faith; I have urged you to strive after full assurance of faith; but never let these lips say a word or a syllable against that holy carefulness which makes a broad distinction between presumption and assurance. Depend upon it, privilege preached always without precept will breed a surfeit and lethargy in God’s people: what we want at certain seasons is, not a promise, but a telling, burning word of self-examination, the flavour of which we may not like, but which shall work in our souls spiritual good of a more lasting sort than sweet comforts would bring to us. Examine yourselves, dear friends, then, by this. I do not ask you whether your hearts are perfect—they are not; I do not ask you whether your hearts never go astray, for they are prone to wander; but I do ask you: Is your heart resting upon Jesus Christ? Is it a believing heart? Does your heart meditate upon divine things? Does it find its best solace there? Is your heart a humble heart? Are you constrained to ascribe all to sovereign grace? Is your heart a holy heart? Do you desire holiness? Do you find your pleasure in it? Is your heart bold for God? Does your heart ascribe praises to God? Is it a grateful heart? And is it a heart that is wholly fixed upon God, desiring never to go astray? If it be, then you have marks of election. Search for these, and add to all your searching this prayer, ‘Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.’
For meditation: Earlier in this sermon, Spurgeon illustrated the marks of election from Psalm 23: a heart that is believing (v 1), meditative (v 2), humble (vv 2–3a), holy (v 3b), brave (v 4), contented and grateful (v 5), constant (v 6). Can you see these marks in yourself?
From: INtouch Ministries
God’s comfort is available to those who trust Him with their unmet expectations.
At one time or another, disappointment affects us all. But if our hopes are dashed repeatedly, we could easily sink into discouragement. That’s what happened to Paul in today’s passage. Under an onslaught of affliction, he became excessively burdened beyond his strength to endure, with the result that he eventually “despaired even of life” (2 Cor. 1:8).
Have you ever felt like that? When you’re discouraged by life’s hardships, the way out is to keep your focus on the Lord. He has higher purposes than you can see from your vantage point in the valley of despair. Paul calls Him “the Father of mercies and God of all comfort” (2 Cor. 1:3). And many times He uses His people to comfort and pray for us in our times of need.
But if we dwell solely on our disappointments, we’ll respond in sinful ways. We could blame others or even point the finger at God for allowing our trial. If we focus on what we want and don’t have, we’ll see the Lord as unfair. Anger soon follows as we lash out at others and the Lord Himself.
God’s comfort is available when we submit to our disappointments and set our hope completely on Him instead of our unmet expectations.
Bible in One Year: Proverbs 5-8