A great lesson that believers seem to fail to grasp was spoken in James 1:2-3, My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. Two things that believers must understand, first, God does not bring trials on His children and second, a trial is a testing of ones faith. A trial will reveal what a believers faith is resting upon. The Apostle Paul tells us that faith will rest either upon the wisdom of men or on the power of God (1 Corinthians 2:4-5) One of the greatest New Testament examples of faith resting on the power of God is seen in the lives of Paul and Silas.
The Bible records in Acts 16 that Paul cast a spirit of divination out of a woman which used the woman to bring her masters a means of income. At this, a multitude rose up against Paul and Silas, their clothes were torn off, they were beaten with rods, thrown into the inner prison and their feet were fastened in stocks. Again, God did not bring this trial upon them. In fact, James 1:13 tells us, "Let no one say when he is tempted, "I am tempted by God"; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone."
Think about it. Why would God use Paul to preach the gospel in obedience to his calling in Christ, then use the authority in the name of Jesus Christ to cast out a demon all for the purpose of God bringing a trial upon him. Not only would that be unlogical but also a great misunderstanding of the will and nature of God. We can see that Paul and Silas understood that this trial was not from God but from their enemy the devil by their response to their situation...
But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. (Acts 16:25)
Paul and Silas chose not to murmur or complain to God or to one another about their situation. They chose to pray and sing hymns to the LORD. In fact they prayed and sang so loud that the prisoners were listening to them and something incredible happened, …
Suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone's chains were loosed. (Acts 16:26)
This all happened at “midnight”. However, midnight is also symbolic of tests, trials and seemingly the darkest of times of ones life. Most believers do not have trouble praying or singing when they have minor issues to deal with, but it takes real faith to minister to the LORD in a dark and seemingly hopeless situation, which Paul and Silas exhibit here. Believers must understand that LIFE MAYBE HARD, BUT GOD IS GOOD, HE IS FAITHFUL AND HIS WORD NEVER FAILS!!!
Paul and Silas were not overcome by their circumstance but were delivered from them. Unfortunately many believers face defeat because they let the circumstanced run over them, joy is sapped from them and they have no strength because there faith was not in the One who is both willing and able to deliver.
The storms of life come and every storm that comes will reveal just how much or how little faith a believer has. A believer’s attitude during the time of tests and trials makes all the difference. Our attitude should be something like this; “LORD, things are not going the way I would like them to go, but I choose not to fret about it and trust that you will work it out because…
We know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28)