My guess is that a few of you reading this are, at this moment, undergoing some sort of difficulty. Perhaps, life has not turned out the way you expected. Maybe you never would have guessed you’d be facing the circumstances you now find yourself in. No one ever told you life would be like this. Life can be wonderful, but life can also be very hard. Thank God if things are going well for you, but also realize that at some point, you’re likely to undergo tough times. Heaven is not currently on earth. The world we live in is tainted by the effects of sin and it causes us to toil. Sometimes that toiling is worse than others. When it gets bad, you might even ask God, “Why?” “Why is this happening. Why are you allowing this to happen God?”
The followers of Jesus, in our passage from the book of Acts, find themselves in trying circumstances. They are in the midst of a great famine, many are struggling financially, most have been been chased out of Jerusalem because of their faith, some have been killed and now the government has turned on them. The apostle James was beheaded for political gain and now Peter has been imprisoned, for a third time, and is awaiting execution. And yet, God has not provided the slightest clue why any of this is happening. Peter is eventually freed but we learn very little of how God uses him following this week’s passage. It begs the question, “Why did God allow James to be executed and break Peter out of prison? Why was one used to glorify God in his death and the other to glorify God in his extended life?” We will never know the answers to these questions.
If it is not helpful to ask “Why,” then what question should we be asking during the troubling circumstances of life? I believe this week’s passage contains the answer to that question. And I believe it is in that answer that we can find peace and even joy when the circumstances of life are hard. Come join us as we seek helpful questions and answers from God’s Word.