Today’s church is full of silent saints who don’t want to make waves. After all, nobody wants trouble! But some of the disciples were big troublemakers. Paul and Silas walked in the power of the Spirit and “gave their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 15:26). On one occasion, Paul confronted a fortune-teller and cast the evil spirit out of her, sending the entire city into an uproar. The slave-owners of the delivered woman dragged Paul and Silas into the marketplace to stand trial before the city magistrates. They then beat them and threw them into prison (see Acts 16:16-24).
It surely must have seemed that Satan had won this battle, but all the power of God was with these Holy Ghost troublemakers. “At midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God … [and] suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were loosed” (16:25-26). One result of all this was that the jailor fell down before the men and cried, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” (16:30). After walking out of the prison, Paul and Silas went directly to the home of Lydia and encouraged their brothers in the Lord (see 16:40).
Paul and Silas fearlessly challenged the powers of darkness and a dead, corrupt religious system. “They came to Thessalonica, where there was a synagogue of the Jews. Then Paul … reasoned with them from the Scriptures, explaining and demonstrating that the Christ had to suffer and rise again from the dead, and saying, ‘This Jesus whom I preach to you is the Christ’” (17:1-3). The synagogue at Thessalonica had probably conducted quiet meetings for years, undisturbed. They diligently taught Scripture and outwardly appeared very holy. Then Paul came on the scene and in just three weeks of preaching the kingship of Jesus, he turned around that whole area.
Have you ever wished you were more fervent in your witness? Has Satan made you afraid of men? The Bible says, “Resist the devil and he will flee from you” (James 4:7). “My brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might” (Ephesians 6:10). May Paul and Silas inspire you to be bold in your testimony for Jesus.