"When her owners realized that their hope of making money was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace to face the authorities. They brought them before the magistrates and said, 'These men are Jews, and are throwing our city into an uproar by advocating customs unlawful for us Romans to accept or practice.'" NIV translation
The owners of the slave girl were not happy when they lost their little money maker so they grabbed Paul and Silas and hauled them off to court. We notice that their charges had nothing to do with driving the demon out of the girl but instead had to do with the fact that they were sharing the gospel. That is a reminder to us that, if we are about the Lord's business, there will be opposition and that opposition will lie and deceive people.
"The crowd joined in the attack against Paul and Silas, and the magistrates ordered them to be stripped and beaten with rods. After they had been severely flogged, they were thrown into prison, and the jailer was commanded to guard them carefully. When he received these orders, he put them in the inner cell and fastened their feet in the stocks." NIV translation
This passage reminds us that we cannot count on the courts or any governing body to do the right thing. As with any politician, they simply did what the mob wanted and Paul and Silas were thrown in prison. They were not only put in a cell but their feet were restrained so that they had no hope of escape.
"About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them." NIV translation
So, after being wrongly beaten and put in prison, Paul and Silas are singing to the Lord. That, my friends, is only possible through the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Even in these circumstances, Paul and Silas were being used for God's purposes as the other prisoners were listening. We might winder why we are facing tough times but, as we see here, everything that we face is an opportunity to show others the power of God in our lives.