“But when her masters saw that their hope of profit was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace to the authorities. And they brought them to the magistrates, and said, ‘These men, being Jews, exceedingly trouble our city; and they teach customs which are not lawful for us, being Romans, to receive or observe.’
Then the multitude rose up together against them; and the magistrates tore off their clothes and commanded them to be beaten with rods. And when they had laid many stripes on them, they threw them into prison, commanding the jailer to keep them securely. Having received such a charge, he put them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks.
But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were loosed.
And the keeper of the prison, awaking from sleep and seeing the prison doors open, supposing the prisoners had fled, drew his sword and was about to kill himself. But Paul called with a loud voice, saying, ‘Do yourself no harm, for we are all here.’
Then he called for a light, ran in, and fell down trembling before Paul and Silas. And he brought them out and said, ‘Sirs, what must I do to be saved?’ So they said, ‘Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.’
Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house. And he took them the same hour of the night and washed their stripes. And immediately he and all his family were baptized. Now when he had brought them into his house, he set food before them; and he rejoiced, having believed in God with all his household” (Acts 16:19-34, NKJV).
Imagine yourself in jail. Not a modern jail with food, clothing, blankets, electricity, indoor plumbing—a primitive jail where family and friends must provide even basic comforts, and where you may be beaten or killed without the protection of law.
In the midst of their troubles, after a beating with “many stripes,” Paul and Silas still had the courage and devotion to sing praises and pray to God. God intervened on their behalf, and on behalf of all who saw the miracle and came to the Lord as a result. The jailer even took them home, where his entire family accepted the Lord. Sometimes our most effective witness happens during our toughest trials.
The content of this article comes from “The Warrior’s Bible” (2014) and is copyrighted by Life Publishers International. Used with permission.