Living Life in the DR

Saturday, January 2, 2021

A Year to Remember??


    A couple weeks ago, Gabe preached a sermon on the life of Silas. He focused on a passage in Acts 16. 

"The crowd joined in the attack against Paul and Silas, and the magistrates ordered them to be stripped and beaten with rods. 23 After they had been severely flogged, they were thrown into prison, and the jailer was commanded to guard them carefully. 24 When he received these orders, he put them in the inner cell and fastened their feet in the stocks.

25 About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them."

 Their response in the midst of trials and hardships has really resonated with my heart over these past few weeks. This past year has been a difficult year. It has been a year of disappointments, hardships and trials. We've seen; sickness and death, riots and persecution, people turning on one another. I think it's safe to say that we are all glad to see 2020 go. We are ready to check it off and move on. 

     I'm sure Paul and Silas could have had the opposite response to their situation. They were stripped, beaten, flogged and thrown into prison. Yet in the midst of hardship, they chose to praise the Lord and bring glory to His name. When we talk about 2020, will we praise the Lord despite the hardships? Will we persevere?  Paul and Silas' praises were a testimony to their ability to find rest in the one True God. 

"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. 27 The jailer woke up, and when he saw the prison doors open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself because he thought the prisoners had escaped. 28 But Paul shouted, “Don’t harm yourself! We are all here!”

29 The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas. 30 He then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”

31 They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved..."

     Their testimony changed lives! As a result of praising God in the midst of hardships, as a result of persevering despite the trials,  prisoners heard about the Lord. While we don't know if any of them were saved, we do know that when they had the chance to run, they remained with Paul and Silas. We also know that the jailer and his family came to know the Lord along with his whole family!

James 1 says, "Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." 

     I pray that as we enter 2021, we don't just write off 2020 as a year to forget, but as a year to remember. I pray it was a year that brought us closer to the Lord. A year that caused us to realize that none of this is in our strength but solely in His. I pray it was a year that caused us to run hard after the only One who can truly sustain us and comfort us - to thirst for the truth and His word.  We don't know what 2021 holds, but we can pretty much guarantee that 2021 will have its own set of trials and struggles. Whatever this new year may bring, I pray that it causes us to come to realize our deep need for our Savior, that we would persevere and run the race marked out for us, and that our lives would be a living testimony of the one true King!


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