The crowd joined in the attack against Paul and Silas, and the magistrates ordered them to be stripped and beaten. After they had been severely flogged, they were thrown into prison and the jailer was commanded to guard them carefully. Upon receiving such orders, he put them in the inner cell and fastened their feet in the stocks. vs. 40 After Paul and Silas came out of the prison, they went to Lydia’s house, where they met with the brothers and encouraged them. Then they left.
SEVERELY flogged, imprisoned, lived through an earthquake (vs. 26), yet when they are released, they go to visit their new brothers in Christ and encourage them. This often happens to us. In the midst of a severe trial, God will put someone in our path who needs encouraging. When we feel the least able to be an encouragement, God wants us to let Him be the Encourager through us. This is the work of the Holy Spirit, ministering to others though us. It isn’t necessary to “muster up” this encouragement. Be a willing vessel and watch God do the work.