“‘Lord,’ Ananias answered, ‘I have heard many reports about this man and all the harm he has done to your saints in Jerusalem. And he has come here with authority from the chief priests to arrest all who call on your name.’ But the Lord said to Ananias, ‘Go! This man is my chosen instrument to carry my name before the Gentiles and their kings and before the people of Israel. I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.’” Acts 9:13–16 (NIV84)

Have you ever questioned God? Of course you have, and so have I. There are times when what we see with eyes of sight doesn’t make sense in this world, or the next. We pray and we hope for some kind of change and it doesn’t come. Or worse yet, our situation only becomes worse. This is indeed what the prophet Ananias faces in our verses for today. He has been a powerful messenger of the gospel. He has tirelessly tried to bring comfort to a young church that has been experiencing heavy persecution from the likes of Saul (Paul). The last thing Ananias thought he would hear from God was to go to Saul and show him an act of mercy. God wanted him to go share the gospel with Saul and lay hands on him and heal him. If Ananias lived in our times his response would have been recorded like this, “God, are you kidding me?!?” Ananias could see nothing good coming from such an encounter.

Praise be to God that He sees more than we do! He sees the entire plan, while we see only pieces. It’s OK to question God. He prefers honesty over hypocrisy. Let God know how you feel. But in the end, be willing to surrender to His will and purpose. We have to trust that He will work all things out to the good of those who love Him. We have to trust that He sees more than we do. He knows where the next steps should be to further His kingdom. And, man, did he ever prove that. He took Saul, named him Paul, and made him one of the greatest evangelists of all time. You and I are Christians today most likely because Paul risked his life to preach the gospel to the nations of the world. He traveled throughout the Mediterranean region spreading the good news of Jesus while experiencing heavy persecution himself. I imagine if we could follow the links of the chain that take us back to the Early Church, we would find its beginning at a sermon Paul preached.

At the end of the day, after all your doubts and questions, trust in the sovereign God who loves you so much He would die for you. Trust that He sees the bigger picture and will get you through whatever it is you are experiencing.

Peace!

Pastor Tom

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