6” And when Herod was about to bring him out, that night Peter was sleeping, bound with two chains between two soldiers; and the guards before the door were keeping the prison. 7 Now behold, an angel of the Lord stood by him, and a light shone in the prison; and he struck Peter on the side and raised him up, saying, “Arise quickly!” And his chains fell off his hands. 8 Then the angel said to him, “Gird yourself and tie on your sandals”; and so he did. And he said to him, “Put on your garment and follow me…10 When they were past the first and the second guard posts, they came to the iron gate that leads to the city, which opened to them of its own accord; and they went out and went down one street, and immediately the angel departed from him.”
Acts 12:6-8, 10 NKJV
This account of Peter in prison is so encouraging for us. He is in prison and in the natural things appear to be hopeless. But Peter is at peace in the Lord and in his trust in the Lord. He is facing death and yet he is having rest and sleep that most of us would be envious of any night.
Even though Peter knows that the plans Herod has for him will result in death, he is not having a sleepless night of anxiety. He is in such peace with Jesus and his current situation that he is sound asleep in his prison cell. In fact, he is in such a restful and peace filled state of sleep that when the angel of the Lord comes to deliver him, the angel has to give Peter more than a gentle nudge to wake him! It is surprising enough that the heavenly light that shone in the prison did not awaken Peter. But beyond that, the angel must strike him to shake Peter from his restful sleep. Now that is peace and confidence in the Lord!
Peter is facing an impossible situation in the natural and yet his peace and faith is in Jesus, and look at how Jesus delivers Peter through everything at that moment. Just look at the layers of the impossible that Peter had to get through to be freed. He had chains to contend with and also guards (there were two sets of guards, none of whom saw him leave by the way). Then he also had to get out through a locked gate. The angel of the Lord delivered Peter through all of the impossible things. The chains fell off, he got past the guards undetected and the iron gate opened on its own.
Do you face what feels like the impossible today? Do you need to see Jesus do the impossible for you? Peter had peace in the Lord and that allowed him to sleep during a night he should have been filled with dread. He had peace that resulted in his supernatural deliverance. Peter found peace in just being with Him, and so can you. Don’t get caught up in the moment; just get caught up in Him! Be with Him just as Peter was because He has all things taken care of already. Be at peace and then just walk through it with Him.
J Todd Hostetler