Imagine the hairs pricking up on their arms and necks as Paul’s impossibly broken and bloodied body began to stir, his arms and legs now shifting in shape until they were true and straight again.
Expect trouble,” I would say to them, “Once you make a commitment to lead in the cause of Christ, you will be opposed. Now that you have taken up God’s call you have put yourself into the sights of God’s enemy. Do not resent it. The Bible teaches that successful work for God may involve suffering and hardships.
Peter’s simple, straightforward logic, and God’s obvious affirmation, rendered them speechless. There was no tenable argument, no counterpoint could be made, God had made His desire and will abundantly clear. But this issue was going to crop again and again. Prejudice is hard to get rid of.
Never underestimate the value of one person being brought to a saving faith. The only reason you and I know about Ananias is because of his willing response to God resulted in the conversion of this one man, Saul, who became the apostle Paul.
I think, for me, this story means determining to see adversity and ordeals as opportunities to see the spiritual realm more clearly, and to expect God’s glory to be revealed in the moment, even in me. Growth is not the goal, it’s simply the side-effect. The goal is to incarnate Jesus, reveal Jesus, and to become ever closer to Jesus.
People ask, “Is the Bible trustworthy?” Does the Bible accurately represent what God has said and done, and how God thinks and feels?
It’s a foundational question, since the events in Genesis 3 leave us with a possibly disturbing impression of God.
Paul shook his head and muttered to himself. He could feel his temperature rise, even against the close heat of the small room he’d been given, to spend the night. But, there was no mistaking what he was reading, as the simple, clay oil lamp flickered its light across the papyrus. “God!” he thought. “God! Why!”