When Things Look Bleak
Acts 12 opens with a bleak scenario. James has been executed, and Peter has been arrested by King Herod. He was going to be killed next. But then we read that "constant prayer was offered to God for him by the church" (verse 5). The church took this seriously and began to pray. So God sent an angel to deliver Peter from prison, and the story has a happy ending.
Then as Acts 12 closes, King Herod, who orchestrated these events, was giving a great speech, and the people began to cry out, "The voice of a god and not of a man!" (verse 22). God judged Herod and killed him on the spot.
The story begins with Herod in charge, with Peter in prison, and with evil triumphing. But as the story ends, Herod is dead, Peter is free, and the Word of God is triumphing. This demonstrates why we need to remember to pray.
Maybe you are facing a bleak scenario right now. Maybe you have received some bad news from your doctor or are facing a difficult situation at work. Maybe there is a problem in your family. Maybe things have gone from bad to worse, and you don’t know what to do. Pray about it. Get your Christian friends to pray about it with you. Bring the situation before the Lord, because with God, all things are possible. God can take impossible situations and turn them around for His glory.
At the beginning of the book of Esther, things looked bleak as well. There was an indifferent king, a wicked Haman, and a paralyzed Jewish population. But the people prayed, and God intervened. How does the story end? The Jews were saved and Haman was swinging by his own rope. It isn’t over ’til it’s over.