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The Key to Breaking Free
By Joel Osteen - Jun 03, 2011
In the book of Acts, it tells about two men, Paul and Silas, who were unfairly bound by chains and thrown into prison. Earlier in the day, they had been beaten. They were not even given a trial. They were treated like the worst of all criminals. What was their charge? They had not stolen anything. They had not hurt anyone. They had not broken any laws of the land. Yet, they were imprisoned simply because they were spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ.

But they didn't complain or get depressed and say, "God, it's not fair. How could You let this happen?" Instead, they chose a different response. They trusted that God was still in control. As they sat in chains, beaten, bruised and exhausted, the scripture tells us that they began to sing praises to God. Can you imagine what the other prisoners must have thought? "Are these two guys crazy? Why are they singing? They've just been beaten. They're in jail. What's wrong with them?" I can imagine the whole prison quieting down to hear these two strange, new prisoners.

All of the sudden at midnight, while Paul and Silas were still singing praises, there was a great earthquake. Instantly, the prison doors flung open and their chains just fell off! An angel of the Lord came by and said, "Come on, let's get out of here." And as if that wasn't enough, the jailer, the one who had beaten them earlier, came and began to bandage up their wounds. He said, "What do I need to do to serve this awesome God of yours?"

Friend, Paul and Silas serve as an amazing reminder that when things looks dark, when all the odds are against you, when life seems unfair, that's not the time to get depressed. That's not the time to start complaining. That's the time to turn up your praise! That's the time to say, "Lord, You are good! You are in control! You're bigger than my enemies, and nothing can stand against You!" Friend, praise can break the chains of the past. Praise can bring down walls that are locked. Praise can turn enemies into friends. Praise can break addictions. Praise can bring healing. Praise activates God's favor. No matter what you are facing today, even if things look impossible, the key to breaking free is to keep singing, keep praising, keep rejoicing and keep trusting because God is working behind the scenes. Declare His praises because He is ready to lead you out into freedom in every area of your life!
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