God Knows…When I Do Right and Still Have Problems – Part 3
A few years after Stephen was stoned, Peter was in prison. Herod Agrippa had become popular with the national leaders by putting Christ’s Believers in jail. He ordered James, the brother of John, killed by sword. But when the Passover time arrived, Herod became a bit more cautious. He decided to wait until the visiting crowds had left Jerusalem before making a public spectacle of Peter’s death.
Herod remembered the former escape of the apostles from prison, so he doubled their security. Sixteen soldiers, in four squads, took turns watching Peter day and night. In his carved-rock cell, Peter was chained to a soldier on each side. Escape seemed impossible. But man’s extremity is God’s opportunity.
The night before Peter was to be killed, he was sound asleep with the peace of perfect trust in God’s will. Suddenly, Peter felt someone touch him. He heard a voice saying, “Arise quickly.” “Is it morning already?” Peter wondered. “Why is it so bright in here?” He noticed a shining angel. Quickly he got up, and the chains fell away from his wrists.
“Get dressed and put on your sandals, then follow me” instructed the angel. The angel stepped over a sleeping guard at the door. So did Peter. The bolted door swung open, and then closed after them. They reached the second door. It was also locked and guarded inside and out. Silently it opened, and then closed. They reached the final gate, and the same thing happened. Then the angel disappeared, and Peter affirmed “Now I am sure that the Lord has sent His angel and rescued me from Herod.”
Peter hurried to a house where some of his friends lived. He knocked. Rhoda, the girl who answered the door, was so excited to hear Peter’s voice that she left him standing outside. She ran to tell the other Believers, who were praying for Peter. “Peter’s here,” she interrupted, “He’s right at the door!”
“You’re crazy,” they responded. “Peter’s in prison.” She kept trying to convince them while Peter waited outside. Finally someone opened the door, and Peter told them about the miracle.
. . .
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