Acts 12:6 – The night before Herod was to bring him to trial, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and sentries stood guard at the entrance.
Have you ever been so excited about something that is scheduled for the next day that you couldn’t sleep? Or something that you were dreading that made sleep impossible?
Imagine for a moment that you were scheduled to be executed in the morning for a crime that you didn’t commit. Do you think that sleep would come easily?
I would probably not sleep a wink and yet, we read in Acts chapter twelve that this is exactly what Peter was doing. And to make the situation even more uncomfortable, he was sleeping bound with chains, to a man on his right and another man on his left.
How was Peter able to rest so soundly the night before his scheduled death that an angel of the Lord had to strike him to wake him up?!?
This is what trusting in the Lord looks like. This is what peace that passes all understanding looks like. This is what believing in God beyond your current circumstances looks like.
Peter had every reason to believe that he was going to be next on Herod’s list of disciples put to the sword. But Peter also had every reason to believe that the same God who rescued Daniel from the lions’ den was more than capable of rescuing him from barracks guarded by four sentries.
The next time you are facing circumstances that appear beyond your control, remember that you serve a God who positioned a young shepherd boy to slay a giant with a slingshot, who parted the waters of the Red Sea and closed them back up again, who caused the lame to walk and the blind to see. And if God is capable of doing that…He is capable of seeing you through your trials too.
Believe and do not doubt.
Questions for Reflection and Discussion
1 Is there a time when you were in a super stressful situation, but you were able to experience peace beyond understanding that comes from God? Thank God for His peace and presence. How can this be a part of your testimony of God’s greatness?
2. When sleep doesn’t come and you feel anxious or worried or stressed – what would God, or Peter, suggest you fill your mind with?
3. What happened to Herod? Why?