Yesterday, we saw the hand of the Lord reaching out to lead and empower his people.
Today, we see it in three other ways.
We see his hand reaching out to save, rescuing Peter from prison.
We see his hand reaching out to judge, putting Herod to death.
And in James’ life, we see his hand reaching out to take his people home.
It’s that last I want to focus on.
At a time when Herod reached out his hand (see the ESV translation) to strike out at the church, it seems God did nothing to help James. But God never took his hands off of James. God never rescued him from Herod’s hands. But he never took his hands off of James.
God was with him when he was arrested. God was with him when he was in prison. God was with him when he was killed. And then God took him home.
God never promises to deliver us from all our trials here on earth. What he does promise is that he will always be with us. And even should we face suffering and death, his hand will guide us home.
Remember Psalm 23?
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me…
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord
forever. (Psalm 23:4, 6 — ESV)
Always remember: this world is not our home. And whatever struggle or suffering you may go through here, the Lord’s hand is with you and he will lead you home.