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Faith and trust Show all

Acts 12:1-9 – Why God? I have questions.

Here is the revelation that is shaping my life today – faith is the only way we can walk through the James and Peter circumstances of life.

Acts 12:1-9 NLT

[1] About that time King Herod Agrippa began to persecute some believers in the church. [2] He had the apostle James (John’s brother) killed with a sword. [3] When Herod saw how much this pleased the Jewish people, he also arrested Peter. (This took place during the Passover celebration.) [4] Then he imprisoned him, placing him under the guard of four squads of four soldiers each. Herod intended to bring Peter out for public trial after the Passover. [5] But while Peter was in prison, the church prayed very earnestly for him. [6] The night before Peter was to be placed on trial, he was asleep, fastened with two chains between two soldiers. Others stood guard at the prison gate. [7] Suddenly, there was a bright light in the cell, and an angel of the Lord stood before Peter. The angel struck him on the side to awaken him and said, “Quick! Get up!” And the chains fell off his wrists. [8] Then the angel told him, “Get dressed and put on your sandals.” And he did. “Now put on your coat and follow me,” the angel ordered. [9] So Peter left the cell.

 

 

Observation

How are we to understand this? The apostle James gets murdered by the King, Peter walks miraculously out of the prison cell. Why did God intervene in Peters case and not in James’ case? Why does God intervene in some of life’s circumstances to rescue and in others his rescue is not to interrupt the events set in motion, but redemption through the events. How often do question like these torment us when we are part of James story. Peter and his celebrate Gods miraculous intervention, James and his are left to mourn the brutality of taken life.

 

Is it that God can’t rescue James, clearly He could Peter? Is it that He does not want to rescue James as He did Peter? We can’t help but look for principles that would help us understand and in understanding maybe we can save ourselves given similar circumstances. What did Peter do? Can we do the same? Here is the frustration of being not fully divine, we don’t have the capacity for the answers to these searing questions. We don’t have the sight into the spiritual realm, we don’t have the sight into the past and the future, we don’t have sight into the hearts of man, we don’t understand the fullness of rights in the spiritual realm. We know God can’t do anything He wants, otherwise He would never let me do half the stuff I do. This is where “even though….I will” faith is critical. Even though I don’t understand I will praise my God. If fully understanding God and His ways is the foundation for you exercising faith, then you don’t need faith, you have understanding. Faith is exercised when understanding runs its course without conclusion. And this is what God calls His people too, Faith not understanding.

 

How often has my faith been shaped by unanswered questions – why did this happen? Whose to blame? Where were you God? Why did you allow this to happen? Why did not you intervene the way I wanted you too? Faith is meant to shape us in the face of these unstoppable but unanswerable questions, not the other way around. Faith enables me to stand when my guy dies at the hands of evil, even when I see someone else’s Peter walk miraculously free. I can praise God for Peter and praise God for James, for I know He is good and kind and has plans for His redemptive purposes to flow through both set of circumstances. It’s not easy to stand by faith when my story is James, but the alternative is my death on top of James’ death. I will not compound evil by following the murderer into his lies and deception that kill me all the same.

 


Application

How are we to understand this? The apostle James gets murdered by the King, Peter walks miraculously out of the prison cell. Why did God intervene in Peter’s case and not in James’ case? Why does God intervene in some of life’s circumstances to rescue and in others his rescue is not to interrupt the events set in motion, but redemption through the events? How often do questions like these torment us when we are part of James’ story. Peter and his celebrate God’s miraculous intervention, James and his are left to mourn the brutality of taken life.

 

Is it that God can’t rescue James, clearly He could Peter? Is it that He does not want to rescue James as He did Peter? We can’t help but look for principles that would help us understand and in understanding maybe we can save ourselves given similar circumstances. What did Peter do? Can we do the same? Here is the frustration of being not fully divine, we don’t have the capacity for the answers to these searing questions. We don’t have the sight into the spiritual realm, we don’t have the sight into the past and the future, we don’t have sight into the hearts of man, we don’t understand the fullness of rights in the spiritual realm. We know God can’t do anything He wants, otherwise, He would never let me do half the stuff I do. This is where “even though….I will” faith is critical. Even though I don’t understand I will praise my God. If fully understanding God and His ways is the foundation for you exercising faith, then you don’t need faith, you have understanding. Faith is exercised when understanding runs its course without conclusion. And this is what God calls His people to, Faith not understanding.

 

How often has my faith been shaped by unanswered questions – why did this happen? Who’s to blame? Where were you, God? Why did you allow this to happen? Why did not you intervene the way I wanted you to? Faith is meant to shape us in the face of these unstoppable but unanswerable questions, not the other way around. Faith enables me to stand when my guy dies at the hands of evil, even when I see someone else’s Peter walk miraculously free. I can praise God for Peter and praise God for James, for I know He is good and kind and has plans for His redemptive purposes to flow through both sets of circumstances. It’s not easy to stand by faith when my story is James, but the alternative is my death on top of James’ death. I will not compound evil by following the murderer into his lies and deception that kill me all the same.

 


Response

Thank you that you are unable to be known fully to me. I don’t want to serve a small God that I can comprehend. Thank you that you give me faith to walk by and not sight, for sight would fail me and I would fall. Thank you that faith can always stand, “even though.” With faith, I can walk through the James and Peter circumstances of life with fullness of life and not tossed into the torment of the waves of why.


Meditation

Meditation truth – “even though….I will” faith.

 

Consider:

How often in life do the James circumstances throw me into a dilemma of faith?

How much do I need to understand the why and how God works in order to rest in His goodness and love?


JOURNEY DEEPER
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