Last weekend, Matt preached a great sermon on Paul and Silas. If you want to listen to it click here.
I have been thinking about Silas and who he was and his character all week. With that being said, I thought I would share a few thoughts with you.
In Acts 16:16-40, we see where Paul casts a demon out of a slave girl. Because she could no longer tell people their futures, her master’s lost money and they had Paul and Silas thrown in jail.
While that is a total cliff note of the chapter, I would encourage you to go read verses 16-40.
I want to point out a couple of observations as we look at this story – Silas was thrown in jail with Paul because of what Paul did, casting the demon out of the slave girl. In fact, not only was he thrown in jail, but he was beaten and flogged. Silas, however, did not gripe or complain or blame Paul. Instead, he praised God and sang hymns right along with him. He could have made Paul feel bad and guilty by asking him why he had to go and cast out the demon, but he didn’t. He was a friend who had a song to sing in the darkest hour.
So here is a question for you – Are you a Silas? When your husband, pastor, boss or friend “cast a demon out of a girl” and you end up in a prison, beaten and flogged can you praise God or do you have to remind them of what they did? If they hadn’t made that choice, would you not be in the mess you are in? Or are you the type of person who has a song to sing and praise to God no matter what type of situation you find yourself in?
There have been many times in my life that I was NOT a Silas. It was easier to gripe and complain about the situation we were in than to find a song to sing. I thought it was my place to point out the facts; The fact was the girl was demon possessed; The fact was Paul cast it out, but that is not what Silas focused on: he focused on God. I was convicted by this realization. How many times did I have to state the facts and state the mistakes or poor choices that were made and not focus on God and just praise Him?
Silas just trusted God. He trusted God was in control. He trusted that God knew what was going on and God would see them through.
At the end of the story when they found out Paul and Silas were Roman citizens, the officials apologized to them and wanted to help them leave the city. Couldn’t God have had them find out they were Roman citizens before they were flogged and beaten and thrown in prison? If that had occurred, however, the jailer and his whole family would not have been saved and the Word of God would have not spread.
I feel like Silas had the kind of faith in Proverbs 3:5 & 6 – Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths.
If I am fully trusting God and I’m not leaning on my own understanding, I can just praise Him no matter what the circumstances are. Even if life is hard or difficult because of someone else’s choices, I do not have to worry about it or gripe or complain about it – I just trust God and sing a song of praise at midnight in my darkest hour.
And whoever is with me or around me I will be the one to give them the courage to sing. I will be the one to change the environment of wherever I am. I will be the one to encourage my leader and love and support them even when they cast out a demon and our whole world changes.