At church yesterday the pastor brought up one of my favourite stories in the Bible. The best part about it, he taught me a different way of looking at it and I wanted to share it with you!
About that time Herod the king laid violent hands on some who belonged to the church. 2 He killed James the brother of John with the sword, 3 and when he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded to arrest Peter also. This was during the days of Unleavened Bread. 4 And when he had seized him, he put him in prison, delivering him over to four squads of soldiers to guard him, intending after the Passover to bring him out to the people. 5 So Peter was kept in prison, but earnest prayer for him was made to God by the church.
6 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.
-- Acts 12
Peter was put in jail for teaching people about God. During the day his friend James had been put to death for this same thing and Herod was planning on killing Peter the next day because he had seen how happy the people were with it.
Instead of being killed right away Peter was put in jail with four squads of soldiers guarding him, that's 16 soldiers. That's a lot of guys for one man to take on.
So what did Peter do? Well, he slept.
"What?!? He slept?!?" You might be asking. He sure did. Why? Because he was at the end of it all. He couldn't do anything more and so he went to sleep trusting that God knew what was best.
When we are at the end of ourselves, when we can't do anything more, that's when God does some of His best work.
What happened next... well, the angel appeared and Peter's chains fell off. They walked out of the prison and the door opened by itself.
When you feel like you physically have no strength to carry on and you mentally can't go forward, that's when trusting in God because infinitely important. God knows what's best for you and He has way better plans for us than we can ever make for ourselves. It may be a different answer to our prayers than we were expecting, but like I've been talking about these last few Mondays, we have to put our faith in Him and He will do the rest.
So, when you feel like you can't go on... take a moment to still your heart, trust in Him and keep taking one step at a time. God is faithful and He will never leave you nor forsake you. You're in good hands.
(Bible verses: ESV)