There’s Always Hope!
Today’s Scripture Readings: Psalm 132:6-12 | 1 Kings 11:1-12:19 | Acts 9:1-25 | Proverbs 17:4-5
Today’s Scripture Focus: Acts 9:1-25
“Lord,” Ananias answered, “I have heard many reports about this man and all the harm he has done to your people in Jerusalem. And he has come here with the authority from the chief priests to arrest all who call on your name.” But the Lord said to Ananias, “Go! This man is my chosen instrument to proclaim my name to the Gentiles and their kings and to the people of Israel.” (Acts 13-15 TNIV)
Ananias had reason to be skeptical. He had reason to be fearful. Saul had been at the forefront of the persecution of Christians. He had been there to give approval to Stephen’s death. Was the Lord really telling him to go and speak to Saul?
Yes, God was telling him to speak to Saul because Saul had undergone a radical transformation. The one who had been leading the cause of persecuting Christians had an encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus–a life changing encounter.
Paul’s conversion is a reminder that there is no one beyond hope. If Saul could become a Christian, then there is every reason for us to hope and pray for the salvation of the most unlikely—the hardest cases.
Paul’s call to ministry is a reminder that there is no one whom God cannot use for his glory. Yes, God could use one who had persecuted and killed Christians. He could so redeem and turn around his life that he could be called as a “chosen instrument to proclaim my name to the Gentiles and their kings and to the people of Israel? Do you suppose Paul had doubts about that at first? “Could God really use me after all I’ve done?” I would bet that he did. But yes, God forgives and he was able to use Paul. He can use you too.
Don’t give up on praying for the most unlikely people to come to know Jesus. One real encounter with Jesus can alter a person’s destiny.
Don’t give up believing that God can use you, in spite your past, in spite of your failures. In fact, those struggles and failures might be the very experiences he uses most for his glory.
God of hope, fill me with expectation as I pray for others who need an encounter with Jesus. Fill me with hope that you can use me as your chosen instrument this day. Amen.