Devotion: My peace I give you, not as the world gives

Acts 12:4-5

4 After arresting him, he put him in prison, handing him over to be guarded by four squads of four soldiers each. Herod intended to bring him out for public trial after the Passover. 5 So Peter was kept in prison, but the church was earnestly praying to God for him.

Peter’s prison experience is one we can learn many lessons from especially regarding peace. In Mark 4 we read of a time when Jesus and his disciples were in a boat and a great storm hit. All his disciples were in panic while Jesus was peacefully asleep. When they woke him up he spoke to the winds and there was instant peace. It is this same Peter who was so in fear of being arrested alongside Jesus that he denied him 3 times. It is this same Peter who is now thrown in prison for preaching the good news and he is chained and guarded by 16 soldiers. The Peter we see here is not panicking, he is not crying out to the Lord to save him, he is not restless, but rather he is sound asleep. Peter is in such peace and deep sleep that when the angel of God appears to save him, and there is a bright light shining in the prison, the angel has to kick Peter on the side to wake him up.

Jesus said “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

This is the Peace we see in Peter when he is thrown into prison. One key thing we must also remember is that the church was in prayer for him.

But this was not the first time that Peter had been arrested and thrown into Jail. In Acts 5 the Apostles are thrown into jail for preaching the gospel and at night an Angel comes and opens the doors of the prison and sets them free. Maybe this was the same angel that set Peter free again.

We must understand that Peter was thrown into prison for preaching the gospel, the same applies to the episode of Paul and Silas who were arrested, and their praise to God while in prison brought down the power of God.

This was a time when the Church was being established and the Apostles were resisted and persecuted in many places that they preached. God was with them and he demonstrated his power just as he had done through Jesus when he walked the face of this earth.

May this be an encouragement to you and I that as we remain faithful to preach the good news of the kingdom, we will be resisted but Jesus has already given us his peace. God’s presence will be demonstrated in his power and providence we walk in obedience to his purpose.

Remember, Christ, has already freed us from the worst prison of all, the prison of sin which leads to death. With that revelation, no other prison should make us fearful or steal our peace.

Reflections

  • What are some of the situations that tend to steal your peace?
  • What would your attitude be if you were to be thrown into prison for preaching the gospel? Would you sleep in peace like Peter or would you panic the whole night?
  • In what area of your life do you need peace currently?

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