“Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everybody’s chains came loose. The jailer woke up, and when he saw the prison doors open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself because he thought the prisoners had escaped. But Paul shouted, ‘Don’t harm yourself! We are all here!’ The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas. He then brought them out and asked, ‘Sirs, what must I do to be saved?’ They replied, ‘Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved – you and your household.’” Acts 16:26-31 (NIV84)
Once again, God rescued his disciples. They were unjustly accused, flogged, and imprisoned. He responded to their prayers, hymns of praise, and faith with His miraculous power. He violently shocked the prison until the shackles were loosened and the prison doors opened. What an amazing response of God to the faithfulness of His people. Tell me, do you believe that he would perform such a miracle today? I believe that we Christians have become as skeptical as our society at times. We believe that maybe God acted like this way back in Biblical times, but that He certainly doesn’t act like that today. But I believe He does. I have seen enough evidence of God’s miraculous power here in the United States, as well as in Haiti, that I am certain that God continuously and faithfully responds to those who trust in Him.
But even more than that, when God acts, He always acts bigger than what we can imagine! God’s arithmetic is always exponential. He never just does 2+2=4. No! God somehow makes 2+2= so much more! Not only were the disciples’ prayers answered as God released them from prison, but God used this experience to convert the heart of the very jailer who was listening to them pray and sing. As the jailer experienced all that was happening that evening, God reached into his heart in such a way that the only question on his mind was, “What must I do to be saved?” What he was really saying was, “What do I need to do to have what you have?” He yearned for the faith, the certainty, the hope, the peace that he saw in the disciples. And Paul’s response, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved!” Believe! That’s it! Jesus did the rest! He simply calls us to believe in Him, to trust Him.
God used what looked like a miserable day and worked it out for the good of not only the disciples, but also for the eternal good of the Roman jailer. May God work similar miracles in and through our bad days! And may we say at the end of the day, “God did it again!”