Acts 12:6–11 (ESV)
Peter Is Rescued (Part 2)
Now when Herod was about to bring him out, on that very night, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and sentries before the door were guarding the prison. 7 And behold, an angel of the Lord stood next to him, and a light shone in
the cell. He struck Peter on the side and woke him, saying, “Get up quickly.” And the chains fell off his hands. 8 And the angel said to him, “Dress yourself and put on your sandals.” And he did so. And he said to him, “Wrap your
cloak around you and follow me.” 9 And he went out and followed him. He did not know that what was being done by the angel was real, but thought he was seeing a vision. 10 When they had passed the first and the second guard, they came to the iron gate
leading into the city. It opened for them of its own accord, and they went out and went along one street, and immediately the angel left him. 11 When Peter came to himself, he said, “Now I am sure that the Lord has sent his angel and rescued me from
the hand of Herod and from all that the Jewish people were expecting.”
Peter is rescued from prison, but he thinks it is a dream or a vision. Notice that it is at verse 11 when he “came
to himself” and realized that he was free and that it wasn’t a dream. I would imagine that if I had a soldier on my right side and a soldier on my left, and I was bound to a chair with chains, I would think that I’m not going anywhere.
He was in a locked cell with sentries posted outside the door. I know I would be feeling rather hopeless. Yes I know that God can do anything he wants, but I would be asking God why did you let this happen. I mean, let’s get real!
We all say that God is all powerful, all knowing, ... but why did he allow this to happen? I hear this question often. I don’t know why things happen the way they do. I do know one thing, all the bad things that happened to Job did
not come from God, but from Satan. God allowed Satan to “test” Job. Now Job didn’t know it was coming from Satan, he thought it was from God. So did his friends. Little did they know that it was Satan wrecking havoc
on Job’s life. Why do bad things happen to Christians? Is it because you don’t have enough faith? No... look at Job... he had a strong faith. Is it because you did not pray enough? No! Bad things
do happen to Christians. Christians get cancer, ill, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, make bad investments, are hit by drunk drivers, are murdered etc... The Apostles were all killed except John. It is not a matter of faith, prayer, etc...
Jesus answers this question regarding the blind man. They asked Jesus if he was blind because of he sinned or his parents. Jesus answered John 9:3 (ESV) “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be
displayed in him. You see, if Job had not gone through the hardship, we wouldn’t have the book of Job to give us strength in hard times and to see God’s hand. Peter... in prison allows him to see and appreciate the glory of God by setting
him free. This is not merely telling Peter I will protect you, God DID deliver Peter from prison and showed Peter that God was with him. The Bible tells us that we should expect trials and hardships, and rejoice in them. We don’t like
them at the time, but through faith, the Holy Spirit shapes us into a better person... if we let him. It could be worse than to be Peter... you could be one of the guards that was guarding him.
O Lord, help me to stay focused on you at all times, even bad times. Help me to take bad situations and to grow from them, help me to let the Holy Spirit shape and mold me in the face of trials. Help me to see the “joy” when
trials come my way. Lord, help me to trust you. Amen.
James 1:2–4 (ESV)
Testing of Your Faith
2 Count it all joy, my brothers, when
you meet trials of various kinds, 3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. 4 And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.