Tuesday, August 24, 2010

learning to trust

(From Acts, chapter 12) , The situation must have looked pretty bleak to Peter.  His long time friend and fellow disciple/apostle James had just been beheaded by Herod (the first of the 12 to be martyred).  Now Herod had taken him captive and, as when Jesus had been taken, it was the time of Passover.  Furthermore, Peter was placed in prison with 16 soldiers assigned to guard him (four squads of four standing watch).  Herod planned to judge him and probably execute him after the feast week had passed.  Herod wasn't going to take any chances because Peter had slipped through his fingers before.   This time Peter was bound with two chains, forced to sleep between two soldiers, with two more guarding the jail door.  But the plans of God will not be frustrated by men and the power of God is greater than men.  An angel was sent by the Lord to awaken Peter and lead him out...the chains fell off...the guards remained asleep or oblivious...the gate to the prison opened by itself and Peter was delivered safely to the streets outside.  Herod, on the other hand, was so unnerved that he left town, ordered the guards to be executed and died suddenly, in the midst of a public appearance.  God's sovereign plan can be difficult to understand.  James was one of the original fishermen from Galilee, like Peter.  He was the brother of John, who lived a long life and gave us the wonderful gospel and epistles.   But God had a very different plan for James than for Peter or John.  And the same is true for us.  It may appear that God's plans are being frustrated and that his servants are losing or being held captive, but the power and plans of God will ultimately prevail.  We may have a brief time, like James, to serve him...or a longer time like Peter and John.  But we serve at the pleasure of the Lord and we can rest assured that the power of Heaven that has saved us is present to ensure His plans will not fail and to keep us for eternity.
Acts 12:24 But the Word of the Lord continued to grow and spread. 
Rob Smith

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