Acts Chapter 12 is an exciting read and very fast moving. Firstly we read that James is executed and, not long afterwards, Peter is also arrested, but miraculously set free. That causes some serious questions to rise in my mind, and perhaps it did in the minds of others at that time also.
Did God love Peter more than he loved James and thus spared his life, sacrificing one child over another? Absolutely not! It was simply James’ time to die. He had made Jesus Lord of the manner and timing of His death, and he was willing to lay down his life when called upon to do so. I believe that James would have agreed with the Apostle Paul when he said to the Philippians that for him, to live was Christ and to die was gain (Philippians 1: 21).
God had a distinct plan for each of the twelve apostles’ lives, and James had fulfilled his. Consequently God called him home. Peter would follow at a later date, but now wasn’t Peter’s time. It’s interesting to note that in John Chapter 21, after Jesus had prophesied what would eventually happen to Peter, Peter’s response was ‘what about Him?’ (verse 21). Peter was asking about John. Jesus’ answer to Peter was ‘What is that to you? You follow me’ (verse 22). In other words, Peter, that’s none of your business. You concentrate on your own walk and fulfilling your own destiny in me.
God doesn’t have to give an account to us for the way He deals with each of His children. He has a distinct plan and purpose for each of us. I don’t know about you, but I have enough problems trying to work out what God is up to in my own life, let alone what is happening in the lives of my sister or brother. It all comes down to trust. If God is trustworthy (worthy of my trust), then I don’t need to understand. I just need to keep walking, and be faithful with what He has set before me. The Psalmist proclaims ‘my times are in your hands’ (Psalm 31:15), and ‘God will fulfil His purposes for me’ (Psalm 138:8). Can we echo these words with faith and conviction?
Prayer: Father God, I don’t always understand Your ways or Your purposes for my life or others’ lives, but I choose to trust You. You’re trustworthy and I choose to trust in You! Amen.
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