God Knows…When I Do Right and Still Have Problems – Part 3
A few years after Stephen was stoned, Peter is in prison. Herod Agrippa has become popular with the national leaders by putting Christ’s Believers in jail. He ordered James, the brother of John, killed by sword.
Now it’s Passover time and Herod is a bit cautious. He decides to wait until the visiting crowds have left Jerusalem before making a public spectacle of Peter’s death. Meanwhile, the members of Christ’s movement are praying for Peter. Herod remembers the former escape of the apostles from prison so he doubles security. Sixteen soldiers, in four squads, take turns watching Peter day and night. In his carved-rock cell, Peter is chained to a soldier on each side. He can’t even move without someone knowing. Escape looks impossible. But man’s extremity is God’s opportunity.
It is the night before Peter is to be killed. Peter is sound asleep. He has the peace of perfect trust in God’s will. He is relaxed, knowing God loves him no matter what.
Suddenly Peter feels someone touch him. He hears a voice saying, “Arise quickly.” “Is it morning already?” Peter wonders. “Why is it so bright in here?” He notices a shining angel. Quickly he gets up. The chains fall away from his wrists.
“Get dressed and put on your sandals,” says the angel. Peter does. “Now follow me,” directs the angel. The angel steps over a sleeping guard at the door. So does Peter. The bolted door swings open, and then closes after them. They reach the second door. It is also locked and guarded inside and out. Silently it opens, and then closes. They reach the third gate. The same thing happens. Now Peter and the angel are standing in the street. Peter thinks he’s dreaming. They walk down the street, and then the angel disappears. “Now I am sure,” he says, “that the Lord has sent His angel and rescued me from Herod” (Acts 12:11).
Peter hurries to a house where some of his friends live. He knocks. Rhoda, the girl who answers the door, is so excited to hear Peter’s voice that she leaves him standing outside. She runs to tell those who are praying. “Peter’s here,” she breaks in. “He’s right at the door!”
“You’re crazy,” they say. “Peter’s in prison.” She keeps trying to convince them while Peter continues knocking. Finally someone opens the door. Yes, it IS Peter. He tells them about the miracle he just experienced.
. . .
Heaven and earth are closely connected. Angels still guide and guard God’s children. God may give us a surprise and open ways for us to get AROUND seeming disaster. God may do something just as tremendous by giving us courage, strength, and joy as He leads us THROUGH trouble. Either way, we can trust God’s love, wisdom, and power.
Where to find the story: Acts 5-7, 12
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