When Peter was come to himself, he said, Now I know of a surety, that the Lord hath sent his angels, and hath delivered me.
He shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.
Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?
It is often the case that Heaven’s choicest gifts are wrapped up in darkest trouble. Indeed, sorrow is frequently God’s ambassador in the chosen herald of some special blessing.
At the moment we may be disappointed with the mournful appearance and melancholy uniform of the messenger.
We may be tempted even to close our hearts against his entrance, and reject the message that he bears. We had pictured to ourselves the dazzling brilliance of an archangel, and behold the funeral robes and solemn lineaments of woe ! It is long perhaps before we discover that he is in very truth an angel, but an angel in disguise.
We unfold with trembling, hesitating hand the scroll of destiny. But our tears and sighs are at length changed to songs of joy when we decipher in every word and line the assurance of a Father’s love.-Sel
“I know that trial works for ends
Too high for sense to trace,
That oft in dark attire, He sends
Some embassy of grace.
May none depart till I have gained
The blessing which it bears,
And learn, though late, I entertained
An angel unawares !!
So shall I bless the hour that sent
The mercy of the rod,
And build an altar by the tent
Where I have met with God.
God’s angels do not always come to us, as we are apt to imagine them coming, in radiant dress, with smiling face and gentle voice. Thus artists paint them in their pictures. Thus we fancy them in their ministries.
We think of them as possessing rare and wondrous loveliness. So, no doubt they do as they appear before God and serve in His presence. There is no unloveliness in any angel-face in Heaven; no angel has features of sternness. But as these celestial messengers come to earth on their ministries, they appear sometimes in forms that appall and fill the trembling heart with terror and alarm. Yet many times it is when they come in these very forms that they bring their sweetest messages and their blessings.-J.R. Miller.
All the afflictions of the righteous open into something glorious. The prisoner is not merely delivered, but he finds an angel waiting for him at the door. And with every deliverance comes a specific blessing.
One angel is named faith; another love; another joy; another long-suffering; another gentleness; another goodness; another meekness; another temperance; another peace.
Each of these graces says, “We have come out of great tribulation”.”-George Bowen
Reading: Acts 27
Royal Purposes – E.F. & L. Harvey