DAY 11

pursue: dance in the dark

Acts 16:16-28 The Voice Translation

16 One day, as we were going to the place set aside for prayer, we encountered a slave girl. She made a lot of money for her owners as a fortune-teller, assisted by some sort of occult spirit. 17 She began following us.

Slave Girl (shouting): These men are slaves like me, but slaves of the Most High God! They will proclaim to you the way of liberation!

18 The next day as we passed by, she did the same thing—and again on the following days. One day Paul was really annoyed, so he turned and spoke to the spirit that was enslaving her.

Paul: I order you in the name of Jesus, God’s Anointed: Come out of her!
It came right out. 19 But when her owners realized she would be worthless now as a fortune-teller, they grabbed Paul and Silas, dragged them into the open market area, and presented them to the authorities.

Slave Owners: 20 These men are troublemakers, disturbing the peace of our great city. They are from some Jewish sect, 21 and they promote foreign customs that violate our Roman standards of conduct.

22 The crowd joined in with insults and insinuations, prompting the city officials to strip them naked in the public square so they could be beaten with rods. 23 They were flogged mercilessly and then were thrown into a prison cell. The jailer was ordered to keep them under the strictest supervision. 24 The jailer complied, first restraining them in ankle chains, and then locking them in the most secure cell in the center of the jail.

25 Picture this: It’s midnight. In the darkness of their cell, Paul and Silas—after surviving the severe beating—aren’t moaning and groaning; they’re praying and singing hymns to God. The prisoners in adjoining cells are wide awake, listening to them pray and sing. 26 Suddenly the ground begins to shake, and the prison foundations begin to crack. You can hear the sound of jangling chains and the squeak of cell doors opening. Every prisoner realizes that his chains have come unfastened. 27 The jailer wakes up and runs into the jail. His heart sinks as he sees the doors have all swung open. He is sure his prisoners have escaped, and he knows this will mean death for him, so he pulls out his sword to commit suicide. 28 At that moment, Paul sees what is happening and shouts out at the top of his lungs,

Paul: Wait, man! Don’t harm yourself! We’re all here! None of us has escaped.

In our reading, Paul and Silas did a good thing for a lady who was demon possessed they casted that tormenting demon out of her. She was demon-less and set free to live her life without anything holding her back and controlling her life. Paul and Silas were good people who did a good thing! Right? Unfortunately, the people didn’t agree. This woman made them money because of her demons and now being free she stopped making them money and they were angry. So they arrested Paul and Silas beat them and threw them into prison. Talk about when bad things happen to good people!

Have you ever asked this question: Why do bad things happen to good people? I know I have asked it plenty of times and I still cannot answer it specifically. I do have a theological thought, however, that still doesn’t answer completely the WHY. But what I want to attempt to do is to show you what to do when bad things happen. Just in case no one has told you bad things will happen. Sin and evil bring with them bad things and they are not prejudice to just bad people.

Here is the simple solution and challenge if you are facing dark, unmerited, circumstances. Are you ready? DANCE IN THE DARK. Begin to praise God in the midst of the circumstance. Put on your dancing shoes and let yourself honor God. There may not be a change in your external troubles; but internally everything will change.

Pray this prayer:

Father, I come to you right now with a desire to praise you in this season. I am pursuing your heart therefore, I know that no matter what happens or is happening around me, I can be confident that you that have begun a good work, will see in till completion. In the meantime, I will praise you! I will dance in the dark! In Jesus name, Amen