All of us have had bad days. Perhaps you are in one or beginning one, and you do not even know it yet. The problem with bad days is that they can become bad weeks, bad months and bad years. Then somewhere along the line, you begin thinking you have a bad life and you are wallowing in the swamp of depression, where everything sucks, and your life has no joy.
I have spent time submerged in that swamp, and it started long before I confessed to my wife and family my sexual addiction and actions of adultery. It was when I realized that I was deeply addicted to porn and sex and it would take career suicide and the deep wounding my wife and children to begin to find freedom.
The apostle Paul and his friend Silas had a really bad day. They were in a city named Philippi in Greece. Their ministry was going well, but this girl who was demon possessed was following them around and being a nuisance. Finally, Paul turned around and cast the demons out of her. The problem was she was a slave girl, and her masters used her as a fortuneteller.
Seeing that their income was going to take a sharp dive, they stirred up the crowd against Paul and Silas, and they started beating them with rods. This went on for a long time, and then they were thrown into jail and the jailer, being the compassionate guy that most jailers are, put them into the inner prison, where there was no light, and chained their feet into the stocks for that added bonus of extra discomfort.
Now I have had some pretty bad days but nothing that even comes close to that. However, Paul and Silas have something to teach us. Around midnight they were praying and decided to start singing. I imagine Paul saying to Silas; “Man, that was some beating we took and having our feet in these stocks makes being comfortable impossible … I know … let’s sing!”
So, they started putting on a concert, singing one song after another and the other prisoners were all listening to them. Then God decides to applaud their singing, and a big earthquake starts shaking the whole prison. All the doors of the prison spring open, and everyone’s chains fell off. The jailer draws his sword to kill himself, but Paul comforts him and tells him nobody has escaped. Then the jailer cries out; “What must I do to be saved?” He takes them somewhere to wash their wounds; they baptize him and then they go to his house for a meal and his entire family gets saved.
This true story can teach us something very important for our own lives. There is power in expressing thanksgiving and worshipping God in the darkest of hours. To choose to worship God and sing songs to Him when life has been beating you with rods, and you are in the darkness being held in the stocks of depression, shows great faith. It is counter-intuitive to worship and thank God for suffering instead of joining in with everyone else’s bitching and complaining.
I do not know where this email or podcast finds you. However, if you are imprisoned by your sexual addiction and feel the world has beaten you to a pulp, I would encourage you to click this link and sing along to the great hymn “It is Well with My Soul.”
Choosing to worship God and be thankful regardless of your circumstances, will strengthen your faith and help your recovery.