Act 12:1-5 “Now about that time Herod the king stretched forth his hands to vex certain of the church. And he killed James the brother of John with the sword. And because he saw it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to take Peter also. (Then were the days of unleavened bread.) And when he had apprehended him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four quaternions of soldiers to keep him; intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people. Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him.”
Act 12:13-16 “And as Peter knocked at the door of the gate, a damsel came to hearken, named Rhoda. And when she knew Peter’s voice, she opened not the gate for gladness, but ran in, and told how Peter stood before the gate. And they said unto her, Thou art mad. But she constantly affirmed that it was even so. Then said they, It is his angel. But Peter continued knocking: and when they had opened the door, and saw him, they were astonished.
In the verses above, Peter is in prison and the saints are praying for him, burdened for him. In the midst of that prayer meeting there was a knock at the door. A little servant girl saw that it was Peter. She got so excited she forgot to open the door. Little Rhoda then tried to tell everyone at the prayer meeting that their miracle had arrived, but they didn’t believe her.
Their miracle was knocking at the door, but they didn’t recognize it. They didn’t have faith that their prayer would be answered. They kept looking at the mess and just about missed the miracle—standing right outside the door!
Where is your faith today? Sometimes I feel like we’re just looking at God and throwing out possibilities to Him. He is answering our prayer, but we don’t see it.
Rhoda insisted that Peter was there. The others, however, refused to believe it. Finally, they opened the door to prove her wrong, and they were astonished. Some of them were scared, thinking Peter must be a ghost. Finally, he was able to settle them down and tell them about the miracle. God had set up a situation to bring Him glory.
Your mess isn’t really a mess. It’s just the beginning of a miracle.
What was once a sad moment was just a beautiful set up which God reversed to His glory. Was it a mess, or a miracle?
Things are not what they appear to be. You are not as smart as you think you are. You aren’t sure why the mess is showing up in your life, but if you hang onto your faith a little bit and understand some things about God, even the evil in your life, God will turn your mess into a miracle. You are in the midst of a miracle. As you press on and keep believing, your faith goes up to the next level.
Peter saw Jesus and stepped out onto the water. However, when he took his eyes off of the Lord, he started to sink. You need to storm proof your walk with God. Don’t take your eyes off of the Lord. Everything works together for good if you love God and are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28). If you have made the effort to do the will of God and you love Him, you will see your miracle.
What’s going on in your life isn’t a mess, it’s the set up for a miracle.
There was a weeping Mary and Martha. Lazarus’s family was calling for the healer. Jesus came four days later! It was over, it was done with. Jesus was sitting at a camp fire for four days roasting marshmallows with his buddies. He said He was glad He wasn’t there because the glory of God was fixing to come down.
Mary said, ‘What a mess. Our brother is dead.’
Jesus said, ‘He is going to live again.’
Mary said, ‘I believe in the resurrection. I know I’ll see him again.’
Jesus kind of looked at her, ‘I AM the resurrection. Look what is here standing right in front of you!’
Just because Lazarus was already four days dead and buried, Jesus is still the resurrection and the life.
Mary said, ‘Even now the glory of God can be revealed.’ Jesus wasn’t crying for Lazarus. Jesus groaned because all He could see was people looking at their mess, sorrow, despair. They didn’t understand that they have a Savior walking amongst them in the flesh. It doesn’t matter if He shows up late, He’s on time. He can do it from somewhere else, even. When he showed up, they should’ve said, ‘Yes! Our answer has arrived.’
Then, Jesus prayed. You won’t find too many places where Jesus prays before a miracle. He said, ‘I’m praying not for my sake, but for those that are listening, because they just don’t get it.’
Most of you know what happens next. Jesus had them roll the stone away from Lazarus’ tomb. Then, He said, ‘Lazarus, come forth!’ Lazarus did!
Before we realize our mess is fixing to become a miracle, Jesus needs to tell us some things. We have a problem with selfishness, self-atitis. It’s me, myself, and I, the unholy trinity. That’s all our focus is on. There’s a healing and a cure for that called repentance and faith. It is God’s goodness and His favor that will bring a miracle today. If you are in a mess, you need to repent for your lack of faith and say, ‘What I thought was a disaster is just the beginning of my miracle.’
We have this mindset that says ‘What did you do to deserve this mess?’ The disciples asked, ‘What did that blind man do to deserve that blindness?’ Jesus answered, ‘Nothing. It was done so God could get the glory.’ The blind man told the Pharisees, ‘All I know is that what I thought was a mess, all of a sudden turned into a miracle!’
What is your mess? Or is it a mess? Keep your faith in Jesus and you will see your miracle come knocking at your door!
Excerpted from a sermon preached by Pastor Anthony LoCascio.