But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before the Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel. For I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name.”
Acts 9:15–16, ESV
This comes from the account of the conversion of Saul of Tarsus. It is a story of not only Saul who is also known as Paul and his conversion but the faithfulness of two men. Saul would become an Apostle unlike the other twelve. He had been a persecutor of the followers of Christ and became one of the greatest witnesses throughout history being accredited with the writing of the majority of what we now know as the New Testament. Saul was converted while understanding the cost of what that would mean for him and his life. Ananias was also faithful in that he listened to God in spite of his reservations. Ananias saw great risk in going to Saul, which there was, but he trusted in God and His protection and did what he was called to do. God desires our obedience when it comes to doing His work. He desires our faithfulness in trusting in all that He commands. We see this throughout Scripture and see witnesses of not only obedience but rebellion. Some of that is obedient in the midst of others’ rebellion suffer greatly. Our Christian faith is not a guarantee that we will not face suffering and struggle. In fact, we should expect that there will be great suffering. Worse than some of the things that may be done to us by those that are not believers, but the betrayal and rejection of those that we either think are believers or are people whom we see as more than just passing acquaintances. Both Saul and Ananias face a choice that they both understand as not truly a choice at all. Both understand that if they do not follow the calling of God that the cost would be greater because their rebellion would be against the Creator of the Universe and they believed. Once God has chosen us and we are presented with the Truth our choosing is not much of a choice, is it? They were faithful because they knew who it was that was doing the choosing and from there the decision was made.
Let us pray. I thank you, my heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ, your dear Son, that you have kept me this night from all harm and danger, and I ask you to protect me this day also from sin and every evil, that in all I do today, I may please you. For into your hands, I commend myself, my body and soul, and all that is mine. Let your holy angel watch over me, that the wicked foe have no power over me. Amen.