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July 11, 2013

Hearing the Music

With God, no situation is hopeless. Maybe you feel like the music has died in your life, but the song of hope will never die. Sometimes, the music of hope plays in notes too high for the human ear to hear. But I still have to sing the song of hope even when I don’t hear the music.

That’s exactly what happened with Paul and Silas in scripture. You remember that they went to Philippi where they were imprisoned and beaten and put in chains for preaching the Gospel. In Acts 16:25 we read “About midnight, Paul and Silas were praying and singing songs to God as the other prisoners listened.” Underline singing songs. They were singing songs while chained behind bars. They were singing the song of hope even though they couldn’t hear the music. You see, I don’t think Paul and Silas were naïve or that they were just saying, “Oh, everything is great. Isn’t this exciting? Isn’t this wonderful?” No, I think they were in pain and I don’t think they could hear a note of the song of hope, but they said, “You know what? We are going to sing anyway. God, we don’t understand what you’re doing. We don’t know what you’re up to in this situation, but we know you are God, and even though we can’t hear the music right now, we’re going to sing the song of hope.”

Verse 26 gives us the results of the song of hope in Paul and Silas’s story. “Suddenly, there was a strong earthquake that shook the foundation of the jail, then all the doors of the jail broke open and all the prisoners were freed from their chains.” So, they were singing a song of hope at midnight and praising God. God sent an earthquake. It was the original jailhouse rock. It was the original classic rock song. All the prisoners were set free from their chains. When I’m feeling hopeless, if I praise God in advance, even when I don’t feel like it, He sets me free on the inside first, and I start hearing that song of hope in my life. Although God will sometimes change what’s going on the outside, real change starts from within.

I think it’s so easy for Christians to come alongside someone who is really going through a difficult situation. They are experiencing the dark night of the soul, and we come along and say, “Hey, all things work together for good. God’s got a plan. It’s going to be great and wonderful.” There is something wrong about that. But it helps us gain perspective when we thank God for what He has done and praise Him for who He is. In the middle of the problems, God never changes. Everything else can change around me. Everything else can crumble, but God is a solid rock that never changes. The scriptures say “He is the same yesterday, today and forever. He is the one we can count on and that’s why we are filled with hope.