God's Deliverance is Coming!
"Now behold, an angel of the Lord stood by him, and a light shone in the prison; and he struck Peter on the side and raised him up, saying, “Arise quickly!” And his chains fell off his hands ... And when Peter had come to himself, he said, “Now I know for certain that the Lord has sent His angel, and has delivered me from the hand of Herod and from all the expectation of the Jewish people.” (Acts 12:7,11)
As long as we live in this fallen world, there will be those circumstances and situations that will arise that we did not see coming or expect to be in and that can cause great anguish or fear in our hearts. How we respond in those times will make a real difference in the seen and unseen world.
As soon as we see the first sign of trouble or sense that something might be wrong, there are three immediate things that we can do:
First, LOOK UP to heaven and consider where our help comes from.
Secondly, CALL OUT to the Lord and ask for His help and guidance.
Thirdly, WAIT FOR God to give His answer and to deliver us from our trouble.
Whether trouble comes in the form of financial troubles or a spiritual or physical famine or in times of adversity of tribulation and persecution, we can be confident that the Lord is always with us and is ready to provide help for us in our time of need. He is in control! He knows both your need and your heart and He cares for YOU dear saint!
Troubles come to ALL of us and NO ONE IS EXEMPT from a trial. Jesus said, "He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust" (Matt. 5:45). The question is not whether we will have trials but who we are trusting in when they come: the rock [Christ] or the sinking sands [everything else]. Whenever a crisis comes our way, we need to know WHO THE CHRIST IS in the midst of the crisis. He makes all the difference. Jesus said to "be of good cheer, because [He has] overcome this world" (John 16:33).
We may not understand why we go through certain things and why one person gets delivered to LIFE while another person is delivered to DEATH. We may not know why we are going through hardship but we must know WHO is with us.
Even Jesus was not spared from troubles, anguish, or the opposition of others on this earth. There were many who attacked His character and who sought to kill Jesus, until He eventually laid down His life willingly for us all. Peter, who was thrown into prison due to the persecution of Herod Agrippa I, would later write about this in his epistle saying, "For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit" (1 Peter 3:18).
Our Father knows what is needed to bring people to Himself and to mature His own servants in the process. He sees a much bigger picture than we do and will move on the heart of His people to give graciously, pray fervently, or work sacrificially to help His church in their time of need. He loves to deliver His servants through His servants.
God's deliverance comes from His sovereign will and purpose but will usually be carried out and revealed through the PRAYERS of His people and through the SUPPLY of His Spirit. The Apostle Paul wrote to the saints in the Philippi, "For I know that this will turn out for my deliverance through your prayer and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ" (Phil 1:19)
When Peter was chained with two chains between two men on either side of Him, we read that "constant prayer was being offered to God for him by the church". God sent an angel to rescue him, since He will deliver us in various ways through various means according to His purpose. The Lord opened every door and broke every chain to rescue His servant Peter but it would appear that the angel sent to him was mobilized on the prayers of the saints who were gathered together in a house praying.
The fact that the saints were fervently praying was a good thing, but then we see that they were not wholeheartedly believing when they dismissed the report that Peter had actually arrived at the house. We see an honest and realistic picture of the human condition here as we see Peter having a hard time believing that he wasn't actually dreaming while being led out of the prison and when we see the saints having a hard time believing that Peter was actually delivered when it finally happened.
O how slow of heart we can all be in believing what we are praying for!
But O how wonderful is the grace of God who answers our prayers even in times when we may have some doubt that they will actually be answered.
May we learn to pray without doubting and to trust that we serve a great and awesome God who is not only able to do what He says He will do but is able to do exceedingly and abundantly ABOVE all that we ask or think according to THE POWER that is working in us (Eph. 3:20). Let us be expectant that God always delivers but will do so in His time and in His way and in whatever will bring Him the glory that is due His name.
Acts in Action Challenge Point:
Give generously for the needs of your local church.
Pray fervently for the needs of believers who are bound up.
Wait expectantly for divine answers of deliverance.