These past few days, Paul & Silas seem to have a lot to say from their prison cell. This morning I picked up my book to read for a few minutes. Interestingly enough, and unbeknownst to me yesterday, I began to read about Paul & Silas. In his book, Spiritual Rhythm, Mark Buchanan writes this about Paul & Silas:
Thankfulness incarnates faith in the sovereign goodness of God. We can speak all the lofty phrases we want about God’s sovereign goodness, but the proof is in the thanking. (taken from page 239).
Only thankfulness on this scale is an incontestable sign we believe what we say. It is the single most convincing testimony beyond our spoken testimony that we’ve put our hope in the God who vindicates & saves. (taken from page 240).
Thankfulness was Paul & Silas’ testimony beyond their testimony, and if their preaching sometimes failed to convince, their gratitude clinched the deal. (again, page 240).
In other words, what their preaching failed to do, their worship accomplished. How amazing is that? Worship is powerful & something happens when we choose to worship in the midst of the hard times. The author goes on to say this…
Train yourself in this. It doesn’t mean pretending everything in your life is good. It means trusting God, trusting Him always, that He is able & willing to work all things, even the worst thing, together for good. (page 241).
Did you catch that? TRAIN YOURSELF.
Train, according to dictionary.com is:
- to develop or form the habits, thoughts, or behavior of (a child or other person) by discipline and instruction
- to make proficient by instruction and practice
In other words, it is going to take deliberate action on our part if we are going to become trained. It is not something that will happen by itself or with a casual approach. It is going to take serious, concentrated effort on our parts.
This morning I find myself wondering if Paul & Silas could have ever comprehended how their voices in worship would continue to be heard long after their feet left this earth. How grateful I am for the lessons they learned & lived.