When suffering is for the good!

THE STORY OF JESUS: Acts 9:10-19a
“I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.” (Acts 9:16)
When I first heard these words, they sounded like a threat.
As if Jesus is saying that Paul deserves (must) suffer for his crimes.
But it is not FOR His crimes that he must suffer, for “FOR my Name”!
As followers of Jesus, we are going against the grain of the world.
In a world of hate, anger and war, we represent love, joy and peace.
We trust in Jesus and in the Jesus Way, and this challenges others.
We must suffer for Jesus’s Name, if we take that Name seriously.
For Ananias to baptize (grace) his enemy is evidence of this radical love.
Am I prepared to love my enemies or bless those who curse me for Jesus?
Suffering is never pleasant, but we do it for those we love all the time.
Jesus has expanded our list of those we love – Him and all people.
For His sake, and for the sake of all sinners, I must love (and suffer).
We should not seek suffering, but neither should we avoid it.
Rather we seek first the kingdom, come what may, with our eyes set on Jesus!
What do you sense the Lord saying to you?
Lord, help me to keep my focus on loving You and loving like You. I don’t want to suffer, but I do want others to experience Your grace… and those often go together

One Comment

  1. The Lord tells both Saul and Ananias the same thing. Get up and go.
    Saul, who really doen’t know the Lord’s way is told on a need to know basis what to do and Ananias protests the Lord’s instructions yet is obedient. Saul wanted to imprison Ananias yet it is Ananias who sets Paul free. The gift of grace set Saul/Paul free. Christ accepts us where we ar but when accepted, we cannot remain where we are.
    Saul’s blindness was lifted so that He could see the Lord and His followers in a totally different light. Ananias scales were lifted that his enemy could become a brother in Christ.
    As we grow in grace we can become His instruments of peace.

    Lord, make me an instrument of your peace,
    Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
    Where there is injury, pardon;
    Where there is doubt, faith;
    Where there is dispair, hope;
    Where there is darkness, light;
    Where there is sadness, joy;

    O Divine Master,
    Grant that I may not so much seek
    To be consoled as to console;
    To be understood as to understand;
    To be loved as to love.

    For it is in giving that we receive;
    It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
    And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

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