by Roger Thomas

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Singing in the Rain (1 of 20)
Series: Forever Living in a Whatever World
Roger Thomas
Acts 16:16-34; Philippians 1:1-2; 4:12

Introduction: The guy in the next cell probably thought they needed their heads examined. The two missionaries, Paul and Silas, sit shackled in a foreign jail cell. It's midnight. Most prisoners would be sleeping or bemoaning their mistreatment. Paul and Silas sing. In the most unlikely place, under the most unfortunate circumstances, they raise their voices in hymns of praise to God. What enables a person to do that? How can some people sing when others despair?

Remember that classic song made famous by the 1952 musical starring Gene Kelly and Debbie Reynolds? Many consider Singin' in the Rain one of the best films ever made. It tells the story of a troupe of actors weathering the ups and downs of Hollywood as talking pictures begin to replace silent films. Most of us don't remember the story but we remember the title song. (Now I understand that most Missouri farmers sing anytime it rains in July, but that's not what I'm talking about. Rain here is a symbol for life's unpleasant interruptions.)

Who can forget Gene Kelly dancing down the street with his umbrella? The lyrics echo this attitude of joy in the midst of difficulties. Listen to the words: I´m singin´ in the rain, . . . What a glorious feeling, And I´m happy again. . . . Let the stormy clouds chase Everyone from the place, Come on with the rain I have a smile on my face. I´ll walk down the lane With a happy refrain Just singin' in the rain.

Singing in the rain makes a good movie. Singing in jail makes an inspiring Bible story. But is it possible? If it is, wouldn't you like to know the secret?

That's the theme I want to explore over the next several weeks as we work our way passage by passage through the New Testament book of Philippians. Joyous optimism in the face of adversity is what the little book of Philippians is all about. Sixteen times ...

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