About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. Acts 16:25
Listen: Acts 16
The church in Philippi was remarkably normal, having ample opportunities to worry and be anxious. They had issues with getting along, financial hardship and had to learn how to follow Jesus obediently. In response to this, Paul boldly encourages the Philippian church to copy his behavior in Philippians 4:9. Over time, he had developed the habit of responding to worry and anxiety with worship and hope. This is remarkable considering that Paul routinely found himself in traumatic circumstances for teaching the gospel.
For instance, the book of Acts describes an incident when Paul and Silas were stripped, severely beaten and thrown in prison for releasing a demon from a young woman (Acts 16:16-40). We would understand if Paul and Silas chose to complain and become bitter over their hardship and mistreatment. But they chose the opposite. From their prison cell, Paul and Silas were heard belting out songs of worship! Rather than question God’s goodness, they chose to give thanks and bless God. Instead of worry and anxiety, they chose to rehearse how God has cared for them in the past.
Paul wants to develop this habit in the Philippians and in us. Worship retrains our thoughts to focus on our generous Creator entering creation through Jesus Christ to save us and restore our broken planet.
IN YOUR CHAIR TIME TODAY
Today, we continue our Seven-Day Challenge to remove unhelpful media from our life. However, identify one positive, Jesus-like behavior you need to begin with that will reinforce hope. Invite God to help you worship, give thanks or express trust when you are tempted to worry.
Download a printable PDF of the BTW week here.