The Right Attitude in the Pain
When Saul arrived in Jerusalem, he tried to meet with the believers, but they were all afraid of him. They did not believe he had truly become a believer! Then Barnabas brought him to the apostles and told them how Saul had seen the Lord on the way to Damascus and how the Lord had spoken to Saul. He also told them that Saul had preached boldly in the name of Jesus in Damascus.
So Saul stayed with the apostles and went all around Jerusalem with them, preaching boldly in the name of the Lord. He debated with some Greek-speaking Jews, but they tried to murder him. When the believers heard about this, they took him down to Caesarea and sent him away to Tarsus, his hometown.
Acts of the Apostles 9:26-30 NLT
Over in Damascus, Saul received his sight, was filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to preach that Jesus was the resurrected Messiah. Some of the leaders got so furious they tried to kill Saul. He got away and went to Jerusalem to connect with the believers, but they were afraid of him.
Then came Barnabas to the rescue. He was known as the brother of encouragement from his earlier generosity to the needy. Now he used his influence to gain acceptance for Saul with the other believers. Saul was accepted and began to preach the truth about Jesus.
Once again, there was opposition, and Saul had to flee for his life. He was sent away to hide in his hometown.
The beginning of Saul’s journey as a follower of Jesus was not a bed of roses. It appears that God was preparing Saul for his future work by starting him out in the fire. There was no “come to Jesus, and all your problems will be solved” message. Instead, this was an exercise in learning to walk by faith and in total reliance on God.
It seems to me that God was doing a work in Saul to prepare him for the pioneering work of planting churches and taking the gospel into uncharted territory.
God is working in us right now to prepare us for the journey He has ahead of us. Some of the things we walk through right now are part of God’s plan to develop us for the next phase of His work in and through us.
We don’t know what is ahead, but God does. He knew before we were born the work He has for us. God knows the challenges we will face. He is preparing us right now for our future. Let’s be sure to learn the lessons well now so that we will be ready for the future.
Holy Spirit, help me have the right attitude in the lessons I am supposed to learn right now. Help me to daily connect with You as You lead me and teach me.
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