Acts 12 tells the story of how powerful the Gospel of Jesus Christ is. No matter how difficult things may seem, God is in control.
King Herod was very violent against those who belonged to the early church. He killed James the brother of John by the sword, and then proceeded to arrest Peter. Peter was kept in prison during the passover, and was to be handed over to the Jews after the Passover had ended.
But before Herod could bring him out, an angel of the Lord came and shone a light in Peter's cell. The angel quickly awakened Peter and helped him out of the prison. The iron gates opened by themselves, and Peter watched in amazement thinking that he was seeing a vision.
After he was free, Peter went to Mary's house. Many were gathered together praying, and Peter approached the door. A servant girl named Rhoda came to answer the door, and was so filled with joy that she did not even open the gate. She ran back inside to tell the others that Peter was outside, but they all assumed she had lost her mind. Peter kept knocking, and finally they opened to find that he was truly there to meet them. Peter told his story and asked the people to tell others while he departed to another place.
The next day, Herod was furious. He put the soldiers and sentries to death for losing Peter, and then went from Judea to Caesarea.
Herod was very angry with the people of Tyre and Sidon, but they begged him for peace because their countries depended upon Herod's land for food. On the appointed day, Herod put on his royal robes and took his seat upon the throne to deliver his oration. The people all shouted, "This is the voice of a god and not of a man!"
Immediately, the angel of the Lord struck Herod down because he did not give God the glory.
But the word of God increased and multiplied.
As Christians, we should ask ourselves: Do we stand for God's Word? When things look too difficult for us, do we rely on God for our safety and security? While others worship men, do we worship the One True God?