In the Book of Acts, we read about the beginning of the church. Jesus had instructed His disciples to tell the whole world the Good News that He is the Messiah and that through Him they can be saved. Then He sent the Holy Spirit so that they could accomplish that goal. They faced ridicule, beatings, imprisonment, and even death, but they let nothing stand in their way.
In Acts 12, we get a glimpse into the peace they had despite the terrible trials. Imprisoned, bound by chains, and awaiting his execution, Peter was sleeping. He couldn’t have been expecting King Herod to have a last-minute change of heart and release him. After all, Herod had just killed James with the sword. Yet even facing certain death…Peter was sleeping!
I think about the countless times I’ve laid awake at night worrying. Almost always about things over which I have no control. I’m convinced the devil does some of his best work in the middle of the night. The soil of our mind is fertile and the tiniest seed of fear quickly grows into an invasive weed!
So what was Peter’s secret? I’m sure the devil was there somewhere whispering all the horrible things that were about to happen to him. Reminding him of Stephen and James and the others that he had already watched die because of the gospel. But Peter was oblivious to the devil’s late-night lies.
Later in one of Peters epistles, we see the secret to Peter’s peace:
…casting all your cares [all your anxieties, all your worries, and all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares about you [with deepest affection, and watches over you very carefully]. – 1 Peter 5:7 AMP
Peter practiced what he preached! All his cares, anxieties, worries, concerns. All of it! Once and for all he had determined to cast them on God. He knew God loved him and would watch over him. He had determined that any of the scary stuff he would confront didn’t belong to him. It was all in Jesus’ hands. And Peter knew that eternity with His Savior was the outcome of his story!
In his kindness God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation. – 1 Peter 5:10 NLT