Summary: What to remember in life’s darkest moments...

Trusting god to do miracles

(and not to do miracles)

Acts Series: ¡§Completely Irreligious, Yet Radically Christian¡¨ Part 20

Pastor Jeff Christopherson

June 1, 2003

Acts 12:1-24

The Range of Our Responses to Troubles:

1. Remaining FAITHFUL through incredible tragedy.

2. Gaining an ETERNAL PERSPECTIVE through tragedy.

3. GROWING in faith through a miraculous deliverance.

4. COMPROMISING principles to avoid perceived troubles.

5. Faith becoming SHATTERED ¡V spiritual/emotional bitterness.

What to Remember in Life¡¦s Darkest Moments:

1. God is still God in the midst of my greatest

Spiritual Disappointments.

¡§It was about this time that King Herod arrested some who belonged to the church, intending to persecute them. He had James, the brother of John, put to death with the sword. When he saw that this pleased the Jews, he proceeded to seize Peter also. This happened during the Feast of Unleavened Bread. After arresting him, he put him in prison, handing him over to be guarded by four squads of four soldiers each. Herod intended to bring him out for public trial after the Passover.¡¨ Acts 12:1-4

1. God is still God in the midst of my greatest Spiritual Disappointments.

2. God is still God in the midst of my Failing Faith.


A. God works through Desperate prayer.

¡§So Peter was kept in prison, but the church was earnestly praying to God for him.¡¨ Acts 12:5

¡§And the Holy Spirit helps us in our distress. For we don¡¦t even know what we should pray for, nor how we should pray. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God¡¦s own will.¡¨ Romans 8:26-27 (NLT)

*(Jillian White¡¦s Story)

A. God works through Desperate prayer.

B. God¡¦s power is not dependant on the Object of my prayers.

¡§The night before Herod was to bring him to trial, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and sentries stood guard at the entrance. Suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared and a light shone in the cell. He struck Peter on the side and woke him up. ¡§Quick, get up!¡¨ he said, and the chains fell off Peter¡¦s wrists. Then the angel said to him, ¡§Put on your clothes and sandals.¡¨ And Peter did so. ¡§Wrap your cloak around you and follow me,¡¨ the angel told him. Peter followed him out of the prison, but he had no idea that what the angel was doing was really happening; he thought he was seeing a vision. They passed the first and second guards and came to the iron gate leading to the city. It opened for them by itself, and they went through it. When they had walked the length of one street, suddenly the angel left him. Then Peter came to himself and said, ¡§Now I know without a doubt that the Lord sent his angel and rescued me from Herod¡¦s clutches and from everything the Jewish people were anticipating.¡¨ Acts 12:6-12

A. God works through Desperate prayer.

B. God¡¦s power is not dependant on the Object of my prayers.

C. In seasons of darkness, Honest prayer makes up

for a Fatigued faith.

¡§When this had dawned on him, he went to the house of Mary the mother of John, also called Mark, where many people had gathered and were praying. Peter knocked at the outer entrance, and a servant girl named Rhoda came to answer the door. When she recognized Peter¡¦s voice, she was so overjoyed she ran back without opening it and exclaimed, ¡§Peter is at the door!¡¨ ¡§You¡¦re out of your mind,¡¨ they told her. When she kept insisting that it was so, they said, ¡§It must be his angel.¡¨ But Peter kept on knocking, and when they opened the door and saw him, they were astonished. Peter motioned with his hand for them to be quiet and described how the Lord had brought him out of prison. ¡§Tell James and the brothers about this,¡¨ he said, and then he left for another place.¡¨ Acts 12:13-17

¡§¡¥If you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.¡¦ ¡¥If you can¡¦?¡¦ said Jesus. ¡¥Everything is possible for him who believes.¡¦ Immediately the boy¡¦s father exclaimed, ¡§I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!¡¦¡¨ Mark 9:22-24

Scripture passages from the New International Version unless otherwise noted.


Home Church Discussion Guide: communion


1. If our Home Church was arrested by a dictatorial government for being Christian, what evidence might they point to as proof of our guilt? What could some ¡§well-meaning¡¨ character witness point to as proof of our innocence? 2. Read Acts 12:1-4. What was Herod¡¦s motivation for arresting Peter and James? What does this tell you about King Herod Agrippa? About Peter and James? 3. King Herod Agrippa was the nephew of King Herod Antipas who ruled in Jesus¡¦ trial. Read Luke 23:8-12. Regarding persecuting, what lessons had the nephew learned from his uncle? In regards to being persecuted, what lessons had Peter and James learned from Jesus? What should followers of Christ expect from their loyalty to Christ? 4. Hours before Jesus appeared before Herod Antipas, Jesus prophesied and explained the meaning of His death in His Last Supper (in Luke 22:14-20). As you participate in communion together, remember the price Jesus paid motivated by His love for each of us. Remember also the price that thousands of other believers (like James and Peter 20 years later) have paid for their loyalty to Jesus.

㦠2003, Jeff Christopherson, The Sanctuary

Copy Sermon to Clipboard with PRO

Browse All Media

Related Media

Life Of A Beggar
PowerPoint Template
PowerPoint Template
Talk about it...

Nobody has commented yet. Be the first!

Join the discussion