God knows us best
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. Acts 9:26-28
It is only God who knows us best and our potential. There is no way we can know how someone will turn and what will they become in their life. We can see attitudes and behaviors and may try to project possibilities of what a person will become in the future, but only God knows what can happen to a person’s life because He can see what is in our hearts. “People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7). From the text, Luke told us how the apostles were skeptical on the profession of Paul as a follower of Christ. They could not believe that Saul of Tarsus will surrender his life to Christ and become one of His dedicated followers. Before he accepted Christ as Lord and Savior, he ardently pursued Christians and persecuted them because of their belief in Christ. He even participated by overseeing the stoning of Stephen to death because he was willing to stand up for his faith and be loyal to the Lordship of Christ in his life. “And they dragged him out of the city and began to stone him. His accusers took off their coats and laid them at the feet of a young man named Saul. As they stoned him, Stephen prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” He fell to his knees, shouting, “Lord, don’t charge them with this sin!” And with that, he died”” (Acts 7:58-60). With Paul’s former life as an enemy of Christianity, it was understandable for the apostles to be suspicious about his motives and to doubt the sincerity of his conversion. Yet, Barnabas did not allow the reluctance of the apostles to accept Paul as a brother in Christ instead he assumed the best in Paul and took the risk to vouch for him. He became Paul’s advocate and helped him grow in his faith. He encouraged him and Paul turned to become one of the great leaders of Christianity and provided a great example of how to reach people even those who seemed to be difficult to reach with the gospel. Be a Barnabas to someone and help in encouraging those that seemed to need help right now in their spiritual journey. As you pray for those whom you would like to see come to know Christ in their life as Lord and Savior, be assured that prayer works for it changes lives. Have the assurance that if God could transform a murderous and proud person like Saul of Tarsus into a loving and compassionate follower of His, He is capable of changing the ones you are praying for. So do not give up on others around you instead experience the joy and privilege of helping them find their way in God. Look for opportunities that God could use you to disciple others. After all, He commanded those that placed their trust in Him to disciple others (see Matthew 28:18-20).