We all have unsaved friends and family. It can be discouraging to see them run from God but in this special guest post by Pastor Joey Hamlin, we’re reminded God’s arm is never too short!
The Story of Saul
“Then Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest and asked letters from him to the synagogues of Damascus, so that if he found any who were of the Way, whether men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. As he journeyed he came near Damascus, and suddenly a light shone around him from heaven. Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” And he said, “Who are You, Lord?” Then the Lord said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. It is hard for you to kick against the goads.”
So he, trembling and astonished, said, “Lord, what do You want me to do?” Then the Lord said to him, “Arise and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do” (Acts 9:1-6).
Let’s put ourselves in this story:
The distance between Jerusalem and Damascus is approximately 150 miles. It would have taken Saul and his men just over a week to make the journey. Isn’t it interesting how Jesus waited until Saul neared Damascus before stopping him. Had he appeared to Saul earlier on his journey, Saul may not have had the same humble response.
In other words, Jesus knows how to reach us and to bring us to that proper state of mind that’s most conducive for a conversion.
We need to note that not only was Saul’s journey long and tiresome but he most likely also experienced unusual and divinely positioned troubles, setbacks, and frustrations along the way that he could not have anticipated. And though we aren’t told of any specifically, we do have a hint of them in Jesus’ words after He appeared to Saul: “It is hard for you to kick against the goads.”
Evidently things didn’t go quite as Saul had planned on what normally would have been an eventless and effortless journey. Saul was brought to an end of himself and of all self-efforts, and now as they neared Damascus, in one last attempt to win Saul, Jesus appeared and revealed to him that He was the Christ.
Psalms 146:9 says, “The Lord protects the foreigners among us. He cares for the orphans and widows, but he frustrates the plans of the wicked” (NLT). According to this passage, God frustrates the plans of the wicked, and we see in Saul’s case that He is able to frustrate both the plan and the planner.
At this divine moment, the great Saul of Tarsus from the tribe of Benjamin, Hebrew of the Hebrews and Pharisees had nothing left in him but one cry, “Lord!”
Paul (Saul) later said, “This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief” (1 Timothy 1:15). If God can reach Saul of Tarsus who was the “chief of sinners,” then there’s no one that His love cannot win. In fact, the Bible says, “Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear” (Isaiah 59:1).
Trust Him in this. Trust to the Savior’s care and loving hands your unsaved friends and family. The Lord hears your prayers and knows best how to reach them and bring them to a decision for Christ.