And the multitude rose up together against them: and the magistrates rent off their clothes, and commanded to beat them. And when they had laid many stripes upon them, they cast them into prison, charging the jailor to keep them safely: Who, having received such a charge, thrust them into the inner prison, and made their feet fast in the stocks. (Acts 16:22-24)
While Paul and Silas were following God, some leaders within the popular culture of Thyatira rose against them and brought them to the Roman political leaders. As a result of lies spoken against them, the multitude attacked Paul and Silas.
You might be surprised to know that the same kind of persecution happens today, although it manifests differently. Assaults against Christians happen when several leaders of popular culture influence the news stories everyone hears. They often stereotype Christians as harsh, mean-spirited, and uncaring. The multitudes buy the stories (just as they did in Acts 16:22) and attack whomever the loudest voices demand.
Paul and Silas weren’t given a chance to explain what happened or to offer a defense. Instead, as the multitude rose, the political leaders stripped the clothes off of Paul and Silas and commanded people to beat them. After being beaten for some time, they were thrown into prison. The jailor took them and threw them into the worst part of the prison and puts their feet into a position where they could not move.
Let’s think again, why were Paul and Silas here in the first place? Because God sent them. I can hear people wondering, “Then, why did they get beaten? Why did bad things happen?”
Persecution is often evidence that you are making an impact, and the devil is opposing you because of the anointing on your life.
Practical Application – When you obey God, don’t be shocked if you also become the object of public persecution. Just stay the course. Remain faithful. He will see you through.
2 Corinthians 11:23; Acts 28:17