‘In times of trouble he will deliver me’ – Part 3
There are at least three examples of forced confinement in the Bible when God intervened. These examples should shape our prayers and give up hope when we go through tribulations. Daniel was thrown into the lion’s den due to his uncompromising stand for his faith. God did not abandon him in the den. He reached out to him and shut the mouth of the lions. Read his testimony when asked by the king if his God visited him the previous night, “Then Daniel said to the king, “O king, live forever! My God sent His angel and shut the lions’ mouths so that they have not hurt me because I was found innocent before Him; and also, O king, I have done no wrong before you” (Daniel 6:21-22 NKJV). Recall the king fasted and prayed all through the night for Daniel’s safety.
Peter’s experience was another example of forced confinement in the Bible. Acts 12 records that Herod arrested and put Peter in prison. He commissioned 16 soldiers to guard him, waiting for the appropriate time when he would be executed. At all times, two guards were chained to Peter in his cell, while the other two stood guard outside the cell door (v. 6). But the strict surveillance imposed on Peter did not prevent God from delivering him from prison. How did the deliverance happen? In verse 5 we read that, “Peter was therefore kept in prison, but constant prayer was offered to God for him by the church” (Acts 12:5 NKJV).
God responded to the prayers of his saints, he sent an angel to deliver Peter from prison in a dramatic way. “Now behold, an angel of the Lord stood by him, and a light shone in the prison; and he struck Peter on the side and raised him, saying, “Arise quickly!” And his chains fell off his hands” (Acts 12:7 NKJV). So dramatic was Peter’s deliverance that he could hardly believe what happened to him.
Paul and Silas were equally detained in prison in Macedonia. Right there in prison, they prayed and sang unto God. “Suddenly there was a great earthquake so that the foundations of the prison were shaken, and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were loosed.” (Acts 16:26 NKJV). Their deliverance was not complete without the jailer and his whole household being saved as a result of the incident.
What do all these examples teach us about adversity, faith, and prayer? In times of trouble, God works for those who trust in Him and who hope in His mercy. It is human to fear and be anxious when we are forcefully detained due to circumstances beyond our control. But we must remember these words of Jesus, “And I say to you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear Him who, after He has killed, has power to cast into hell; yes, I say to you, fear Him!” (Luke 12:4-5 NKJV).
No comments yet