“All the prison doors flew open.” Ac 16:26 NIV
The Bible says: “About midnight Paul and Silas were…singing hymns to God…Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prisons were shaken…all the prison doors flew open, and everybody’s chains came loose” (vv. 25-26 NIV). Praise opens doors. Praise breaks chains. Any time you praise God in spite of the circumstances, the forces of heaven come to your aid. You say, “But sometimes I don’t feel like praising God.” The Psalmist wrote, “I will bless the Lord at all times” (Ps 34:1 NKJV). Sometimes praise is an emotional response to God’s goodness; other times it’s an act of your will. Anybody can praise God in the good times. But when you have to rise above your feelings and your circumstances, that’s when it really counts. The battle of Jericho teaches us that sometimes you have to shout God’s praise when: (1) You are up against a brick wall. (2) It feels like you’re going in circles. (3) Your circumstances seem to mock you. (4) Your rational mind thinks, “This plan doesn’t make any sense.” (5) It’s the last thing you feel like doing. But when you praise God anyway, you discover the truth of Nehemiah’s words: “The joy of the Lord [the joy that comes from knowing He is present with you and has gone before you to work things out in your favor] is your strength” (Ne 8:10 AMP). When you’re ruled by circumstances and emotions you live on a rollercoaster. But if you look to the Lord of your circumstances and praise Him, you move from weakness to strength.