READING: Acts 12
“Suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared. . .”
I don’t always understand why things happen the way they do. In fact, I often don’t understand. For example, I don’t know why God allowed James to be martyred – that is, to be slain “with the sword” (Acts 12:2). It just doesn’t make sense to me why God would allow one of His faithful followers to lose his life by violent death at the hands of a vicious king. I trust that He knows what is right, but still I wonder.
The story gets even more confusing, though, when I read that the king also arrested Peter and likely planned to take his life, too. In this case, though, something miraculous occurred: “Suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared, and a light shone in the cell. Striking Peter on the side, he woke him up and said, ‘Quick, get up!’ And the chains fell off his wrists. ‘Get dressed,’ the angel told him, ‘and put on your sandals’” (Acts 12:7-8). James died, but Peter was freed. An angel intervened in the second story, but not in the first. The one who had denied even knowing Jesus would be spared—and we’re not told why.
God, though, doesn’t have to explain his actions to us. He’s God—and we’re not—so He has a right to respond however He wishes. Our job is simply to trust Him when we don’t understand.
- If you’re facing something you don’t understand, trust God anyway.
- Pray for someone you know who might be facing such a situation.
PRAYER: “Father, help me to trust You even when I don’t understand what’s happening.”
TOMORROW’S READING: Acts 17:1-18:18