[Acts: Inspiration For Transformation Series] The Power Of God

Devotional

I Never Saw That Coming


Steven R. Branson


After Pentecost, the church began to impact the world very quickly by way of the disciples’ preaching of the gospel. The church exploded so quickly that it elicited intense persecution from the Jews in Jerusalem. The stoning of Stephen marked the beginning of the church’s intense persecution, and the disciples of Jesus were scattered throughout the region. We are told, in Acts chapter 8, that Saul was ravaging the church and dragging men and women off to prison. 


Amid such persecution, the people of God prayed and sought God for protection. Their substantial fear of Saul caused them to run for their lives. When God called Ananias to go to Saul, his reaction was one of shock. In Acts chapter 9 he pleaded, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much evil he has done to your saints in Jerusalem." 


The church in Acts would have never dreamed of Saul becoming their leader. No one saw it coming when God called Saul to proclaim the name of Jesus Christ. It is for this reason that we need to remember the Lord’s Word through the prophet Isaiah, “…My ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”


One of the most significant challenges of the church is learning to trust God. He does not follow our expectations or desires. God will always accomplish his purposes according to his ways and thoughts. And God will use men like Saul to bring him glory in the world. Most of the time when God is at work, we will have to be honest and say, “I never saw that coming!” God’s ways are always best. Saul became known as Paul the apostle, by God’s grace, and preached Jesus Christ to the world.


Respond:


God’s people must trust God even when we do not understand all that God is doing. He promises to work everything for the good of those who love him. 


Father, teach us to trust your ways and your works in our midst. We cannot always understand the ways that you are working, but teach us to always trust the unfolding of your will in our lives.