On Sunday, 5th February, 2017, I worshipped at The Presbyterian Church, Yaba. The second Bible lesson was Acts 12:1-19 and I learnt a lot of lessons from the second Bible lesson which I would like to share with you. I won’t narrate the events that occurred in the text but will go straight to discuss the lessons I learnt. I encourage you to read the Scripture on your own to have a better understanding.
- The devil’s plan is to kill, steal and destroy (John 10:10) and his main target are Christians who are filled with God’s power and Spirit, those who have a great destiny and future and those who have a great purpose to fulfil.
King Herod began to persecute some members of the Church. He ordered his soldiers to kill James, the brother of John with the sword. He went on to arrest Peter when he saw that the death of James pleased the Jews.
In Mark 3:17, James and his brother John were sons of Zebedee and Jesus gave them the name Boanerges, which means “Men of Thunder.”
In Matthew 16:18-19, Jesus told Simon that he is Peter which means a rock and that it was on that rock that He will build His Church and not even death will be able to overcome it. Jesus also said He will give him the keys of the kingdom of heaven and whatever he prohibits on earth will be prohibited in Heaven and what he permits on earth will be permitted in heaven.
So you can see that James and Peter were men of power and also major targets of persecution. As Christians filled with the power and Spirit of God, we will face various trials and difficulties. That is why we must watch and pray so that we will not fall prey to the Devil’s plans. When we pray, we should have faith that God will answer us.
Sometimes as Christians, we expect that because of our devotion and faithfulness to God, our lives should be problem free. But that is not what God promises us. He promises to deliver us when we go through various difficulties and trials.
See: Isaiah 43:2
- When the Church was under persecution, the Church never stopped praying for Peter. They were constantly praying to God for Peter.
Presently, the Church in Nigeria and around the world is under persecution. The key to our deliverance is earnest and constant [fervent and persistent] prayers.
- It was the very night before Herod was to bring Peter out to the people that God rescued Peter. Sometimes, despite our prayers, we feel that God is silent and inactive. But God is there through it all and His ways and thoughts are different from ours. He knows what he is doing and He has it all planned out (Jeremiah 29:11; Isaiah 55:8)
Whenever you’re in a difficulty, pray to God and cast all your worries, anxieties and concerns on Him and have faith that He will answer you. Don’t worry about how, where and when He will answer. Just pray and have faith.
- The very night before Herod was to bring Peter out to the people, Peter was sleeping. He was about to face trial in public, he was in prison bound with two chains and guarded heavily, yet he was sleeping. How can someone in such a condition and knowing what awaited him the next day be sleeping?
Sometimes when we have difficulties, we lose our appetite and ability to sleep. But here, Peter was sleeping. The preacher of the service that day said it was because he had the peace of God in his heart. When you have the peace of God, you can sleep and be at rest during difficult situations.
Whenever you’re going through a difficulty or hardship, ask God to give you inner peace.
God is all-powerful there is no need for you to be worried or anxious about anything.
Pray about it, have faith in God and rest in God’s peace.
*TO BE CONTINUED IN THE NEXT POST