Not Yet

Every time I read the first half of the book of Acts, I am amazed by the transformation of the apostle Peter. The apostle who denied Jesus after his arrest becomes one of the boldest witnesses for Christ. He is not intimidated by threats, beatings or imprisonment. He just keeps telling the story of Jesus.
According to historical tradition, Peter was killed around 68 A.D. Although he was to be crucified, he did not consider himself worthy to be killed in the same way his savior had been. He asked instead to be crucified upside-down. Peter seems so far removed from that moment when the rooster crowed.
Following the execution of James at the beginning of Acts 12, Peter might have thought his time was about to be up. Each time he was taken into custody, he had to know that authorities were growing more tired of him and his influence for Christ. This time it was Herod who seemed ready to conduct a show trial that would lead to his death. Herod thought that Peter’s execution would gain favor with the people. But that wasn’t God’s plan. He was not finished with Peter yet. God still had work for him to do.
While he was well guarded in prison awaiting his trial, an angel appeared to free him. Herod planned to be rid of him the next day, but God had something else in mind. It’s often during those times that we think we have control, or we are sure how things are going to turn out that God moves and reminds everyone who is really in control. Whether we are struggling with what seems to be an impossible situation or timing that we just cannot explain, sometimes God is waiting to reveal himself. Peter was learning something that Paul would write about later in Philippians 1:21, “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” Whatever was going to happen in that jail cell, Peter was ready for the next step. This time, that step was to freedom and many more years to live for Christ.

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