How much rain would it take to ruin your parade? Roman prisons were not known for their hospitality toward prisoners. If anything, they had earned a reputation for breaking the wills of their captives through their inhumane treatment. The prison grounds were often dirty, rat-infested places which made inmates nauseous.
This is where Paul and Silas found themselves after a prejudiced mob falsely accused them and ordered their arrest. Their backs were raw and bloody after being beaten by Roman guards. On their hands were clasped heavy, iron fetters. Their feet were fastened in uncomfortable, wooden stocks. In this position, any movement they made brought pain. Yet instead of grousing about their unfortunate plight, these godly men chose to pray and sing praises to God.
Bitter, enraged men don’t respond this way to injustice. They lash out, harbor grudges, and make every effort to avenge their offenders. However, those who wish to rise above their circumstances and feelings commit their pain to God, believing He will make it right in due time. What kind of Christian are you?
Injustice may take on many forms, from racial, social, religious, or political prejudice, to sinful acts motivated by jealousy, envy, pride, spite, anger, personal loyalties, or selfishness. Over the course of a lifetime, each of us will experience at least one of these kinds of injustice — sometimes at the hands of people we hold in high esteem. While we often cannot control what happens to us, we can control our response to these circumstances. We can let the rain spoil our parade, or we can take out an umbrella and praise God in the midst of the storm. The parade must go on. You will be happy when you determine to let nothing stand in its way.
Devotional by Pastor Jim Scudder, Jr.