When worry strikes, it seems little at first.
But slowly, it creeps in and begins to wrap its tentacles. You begin to feel a hard knot in your stomach. The anxious tension in your shoulders. The nausea and restlessness. You toss and turn at night. You can’t seem to find the rest and refreshment that comes from sleep because sleep is nowhere to be found.
Worry isn’t peaceful. Worry breeds discontentment, doubt, and disorder.
And yet, doesn’t God offer peace?
Peace despite worry, despite trials, despite ourselves.
I look at Peter in Acts 12 and marvel at his apparent peace. There he is, imprisoned between two hardened Roman soldiers. He is bound with chains, with more sentries guarding his door, and yet, he falls asleep!
Instead of sleeping in peace, he could have stayed awake and worried, or do the things I might do when I worry. Peter doesn’t argue with God. He doesn’t ask God to rescue him or to ease his trials. Nor does he lose faith or lash out in anger or irritation. And he certainly doesn’t start cleaning things that didn’t need cleaning!
In fact, Peter seems so at peace that he is able to fall deeply asleep. He is so deeply asleep that an angel with heavenly light coming to his cell doesn’t awaken him! In fact, the angel has to both call him and basically whack him in order to wake him up!
Now that’s assurance. That’s real trust.
And Peter’s immediate reaction afterward helps teach me about how he got that peace in the first place. He obeyed God’s messenger immediately, he gathered with God’s people to share the things God had worked in his life, and he went to the work God had called him to do.
Peter had no illusions about what might happen. Death, torture, and imprisonment were much more an understood probability in the life of the Christian then. And he had the humility to think at first that what he saw that night was only a vision from God.
After all, why would God rescue Peter?
Why would he rescue any of us, for that matter? And yet he does!
That victory, that peace is only found in Christ. No, we don’t deserve or even sometimes expect it. And yet, it is there for the taking, if only we follow Him.
May you step out in faith and trust to experience that peace today too.
Be encouraged by these posts as well!