By Kelly Basham
Is the atmosphere of your home a place that points others to trust Jesus? When challenging situations come, are you more likely to lift your hands in praise to God or drop them in defeat?
It’s not easy to praise in the middle of tough times. Honestly, I don’t always feel like praising when things are tough. My initial response is to whine and complain.
But as we read in Acts 16, our actions have the power to point those within our influence to Jesus. This includes our children, husbands and other family members.
An Atmosphere of Worship and Praise
We can look at a good example in the Bible that shows how to create an atmosphere that points others to trust Jesus.
While in Philippi, Paul and Silas were unjustly arrested, beaten, and imprisoned for supposedly causing trouble in the city. (Acts 16:20). Acts 16:25 tells us, “About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them.” (NIV)
It must have been a disheartening and scary situation for them. Yet despite their circumstances, Paul and Silas sought and worshiped the Lord.
Another thing to note from Acts 16:20 is that the other prisoners were listening to Paul and Silas. What must the prisoners have thought? Did they wonder how these two men could continue to worship God after being bound in prison?
The scriptures don’t tell us what the prisoners were thinking, only what they heard and witnessed. Acts 16:26 goes on to say, “Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose.” (NIV) The prisoners saw and experienced a great miracle!
An Atmosphere That Points Others to Trust Jesus
We don’t know if any of the prisoner’s hearts were changed through this experience, but they did witness something that would prompt such a change. However, we do know that this great miracle led to the jailer and his entire household accepting Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. (Acts 16:27-34)
Paul and Silas’ reaction to their undeserved imprisonment was a testimony of their faith in Jesus. By choosing to praise, sing and pray while in prison, everyone watching and listening witnessed their undeterred faith in Jesus and the glory of the one true God. They created an atmosphere which pointed others to trust in Jesus.
In the same way, our spouses, children and other family members who live with us are listening and watching how we react during tough times. Our faith is tested most in the hard times. Expressing our praise and worship to God (in the good times and bad) demonstrates our trust in him to help us through difficult situations. People need to see our testimony of faith and praise lived out in a way that points them to Jesus.
Creating an Atmosphere of Praise
Do you struggle to praise when times are tough? For most of us, praising, much less singing, is not easy when things are hard.
But we don’t have to live in an atmosphere of defeat. Paul and Silas had a mind to seek and worship God. By following their example and adopting this mentality, we will encourage an atmosphere that points others to trust Jesus.
We may not be able to change everyone’s beliefs or behaviors, but we can create a climate that exposes them to the love of Christ. Through that, those within our influence might be moved to seek and eventually accept Jesus as Lord.
When hard times come, let’s do our best to seek and praise our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ and live our lives in a way that shows God’s love for the world.
Wife Step: The next time you are presented with a difficult situation, ask God to use both your circumstances and your reactions in a way that would encourage others to trust Jesus.
Kelly is a writer and blogger passionate about pointing others to God’s word for all of life’s obstacles. On her blog, Blossom In Faith, she writes to encourage others to grow in their relationship with Jesus as they seek, study, and reflect on God’s word. Kelly lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with her husband Brandon, two young adult children, their son-in-law, and two very cuddly puppies. When she isn’t writing, you’ll probably find her working on a new arts and crafts project, hunting for vintage accessories, or planning her family’s next visit to the mountains.