And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them.
How could Paul and Silas be so content despite jail, despite wounds, despite persecution and attacks? How could they have peace with such an uncertain future, with no apparent solution to their current situation? How could they be joyful in such a dark place as a Roman prison? Maybe death was on the horizon for them. Maybe another beating at the hands of an angry mob. Maybe a long stay bound in that prison. And here they are praising God, praying and singing for all to hear.
It was because Paul and Silas were certain of being in God’s will. He had called them to Macedonia. He had sent them there, and so they knew He went with them. They were certain of His presence. They were certain of His goodness. They were certain of His power, ability and authority. So come what may, they would praise Him and trust Him and seek Him. Despite all the bad that was happening, they had Jesus, and that was enough.
So how can we sing in the dark? How can we rejoice when the worst circumstances come upon us? By having the same attitude and perspective that Paul and Silas had. By having that certain knowledge that God will bring us through whatever trials we face. By knowing for sure that God is good and He has a plan and He will never leave us nor forsake us no matter how bad it seems. That will enable us to sing through the darkness, to draw closer to God even there, not farther from Him, when something difficult comes along.
It really is all about our perspective on what is happening to us. And prayer and praise is our defense against this evil world and those kinds of circumstances that come along. Prayer and praise, a continual focus on God, are resources in the darkest places we will ever find ourselves. A right attitude of knowing and trusting God completely is what can turn prison into a praise session and impact those around us who witness our response to the trials of life and perhaps, then, also desire to know our faithful God and precious Savior for themselves.