15But 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. 16I will show him how much he must suffer for my name." – Acts 9
A guy named Paul (who would later write much of the New Testament), had just had an experience with God. It blinded him. He was in a house and God decides to send a guy named Ananias to Paul. Ananias is to tell Paul of the great things that will come in the future. Exciting things like . . . suffering.
Suffering? You would think that God would say that he is going to show Paul all the great things that will be done. The thousands that will be saved. The church that will be established. Why not start with the big vision? Why not get Paul pumped about the results and get him to commit to the plan no matter what the cost?
Because Paul was not committed to the plan, he was committed to the Christ. If it brought suffering, so be it.
God wanted to give him a clear picture; it’s not all roses.
What if God showed me how much I would suffer for him? Would I still make the decision to follow him? Would you?
photo by CGehlen