He (Herod) had been very angry with the Tyrians and Sidonians. Together they presented themselves before him, and having won over Blastus, who was in charge of the king's bedroom, they asked for peace, because their country was supplied with food from the king's country. So on an appointed day, dressed in royal robes and seated on the throne, Herod delivered a public address to them. The populace began to shout, "It's the voice of a god and not of a man!" At once an angel of the Lord struck him because he did not give the glory to God, and he became infected with worms and died. Then God's message flourished and multiplied. - Acts 12:20-24 HCSB

God is always in control – even when we suffer. A wicked King by the name of Herod cruelly persecuted the church and killed James, John’s brother.[1] He got such a positive reaction from the mob that he decided to arrest Peter too. Now Peter had already been in jail twice[2], but this time, just to be sure he’d be available for their shenanigans, they put four squads of four soldiers each in charge of guarding him. God got Peter out anyway. However, God being in control doesn’t mean that we will escape all suffering or even death. Just ask James!

God is always in control – even in our darkest hour. It was midnight when the angel showed up. Peter was presumably going to be executed at dawn because the praying Christians assumed he’d simply been killed early when he showed up at their doorstep.[3] God being in control doesn’t mean that He will rescue you at your convenience. He is sovereign nevertheless.

God is always in control – even when we lack faith. Peter didn’t even realize that the angel was real. He thought it was simply a wishful dream. As we stated earlier, the other Christians were praying like crazy but when God answered precisely as they asked, they didn’t believe it! God was still in control, however. Those who tell you that God can only work “if you have enough faith” apparently haven’t read that God can even raise a dead man!

God is always in control – even when our circumstances aren’t. Herod killed the guards who had let Peter escape. Then he so dominated the Tyrians and Sidonians that when they sued for peace and he took the opportunity to speak, they all cried out, “It’s the voice of a god and not of a man!” Everything at that moment seemed to say that Herod was fully in control. He was king and looked the part.[4] Nevertheless, God struck him down with worms no less (imagine the ignominy!) and God’s messaged flourished and multiplied.

Christian, are you persecuted? Are you dying? Are you suffering? Natsar 'Adam, the Watcher of Mankind[5] is watching and you are precious to Him.[6]

[1] Acts 12:1

[2] Acts 4:3; 5:18

[3] Acts 12:12-15

[4] Acts 12:21-22

[5] Job 7:20

[6] Psalm 72:14