Summary: What is your reaction when it is darker than it has ever been in your life? It reall does matter. God wants you to respond in a way that your ordeal can minister to the lives of others.
Midnight is the darkest hour. It is the end of a day. It is a turning point.
I. Tested in the Will of God
Paul and Silas receive the Macedonian call (16:9,10) and go to Europe with the gospel.
They baptized Lydia and things were starting out good.
In short order, they find themselves in trouble with the law. They are beaten and thrown in jail.
Midnight is falling upon them and it doesn’t look real pretty.
Surely God would not call someone to such a misfortune, would He?
II. Midnight means Crises
All of us face those times when we feel that it can’t get any darker than it is at this moment; that it just can’t get any later.
The problem you are facing is keeping you up, you just can’t go to sleep; you pace the floor; every little bit you glance at the clock and it is closer to midnight.
God does some of His best work when man thinks that it is too late.
So how do you react when it gets that bad?
III. The Men of God Prayed
I am sure that they called on God on other occasions, but they had never passed this way before, and they had to have some help from heaven.
You can call Him up anytime, but sometimes it is more of a sacrifice that will glorify God, when you are at the end of your rope.
IV. The Men of God Praised
Here is where you can divide the sheep and the goats. Many will cry out to God in their distress, but show me the man or the woman of God who will praise Him in the bleakest times.
21 And said, Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD. (KJV)
21 Y dijo: --Desnudo salí del vientre de mi madre, y desnudo volveré allá. Jehovah dio, y Jehovah quitó. ¡Sea bendito el nombre de Jehovah! (SRVA)
1 I will bless the LORD at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth. (KJV)
1 ¶ Bendeciré a Jehovah en todo tiempo; su alabanza estará siempre en mi boca. (SRVA)
V. You have an Unseen Audience
These guys had been thrust into the inner prison (v.24). They were in the darkest and most secluded section, isolated from the general population of inmates.
Others heard the commotion and were paying attention to the matter.
There are others whom you may not even see or know about, but they are all ears, waiting to find out about your actions and reactions to your dilemna of life.
VI. They Escaped Within the Prison
It was not an escape out of the prison. God had another plan. They didn’t run. God opened the doors and they stood still. Then the prison keeper saw that they were different. Paul and Silas were led out of the prison with protection and blessing.
How much better it is to let God work it all out.
They even received free medical treatment out of the deal. God will honor and minister to your needs when you do things His way.
VII. Delivered to Deliver
The earthquake was of great proportions. The foundations were shaken, the doors came off their hinges, the chains broke loose from the prisoners, but the roof did not cave in. There is a reason for all of this.
The Lord was concerned about Paul and Silas. The little miracle was setting them free from their trouble and trial.
The bigger miracle was that their freedom was the means of ministering to someone else in need, who previously did not know that he had a problem.
What an opportunity God will give you when He breaks off those chains that are setting you back. Be on the lookout for that "someone" who needs deliverance that your freedom can minister to.