Ananias of Damascus

Daily Devotional

Average reading time is about 3 minutes

Emily was scared to death of dogs. When she was a little girl, a neighbour’s dog had knocked her over and started biting her legs until her father could intervene. Though she was not badly hurt, Emily had, since that time, been frightened to be near any dogs.

Many people suffer from phobias—from the fear of heights to the fear of spiders. Sometimes these fears are debilitating and prevent a person from functioning normally. Counsellors encourage those who struggle with irrational fears to recognize triggers that create unusual distress. They suggest that you start by recognizing physical symptoms of fear like a racing heartbeat, feeling dizzy, sweating, or needing to escape.

What helped Emily was to prayerfully identify her false beliefs. She acknowledged that while some dogs might be vicious, the majority of dogs are gentle, and that it was unlikely that she would get bitten. She gradually adjusted to being near dogs by looking at pictures of dogs, by visiting a park where dogs were on leashes, and then by meeting a gentle dog who belonged to her friend.

Ananias was frightened. When the disciple of Jesus from Damascus received a vision from the Lord that he should visit Saul of Tarsus, his fears were not irrational. Saul was known for persecuting the church and for sometimes killing people. His heart must have pounded as God said, “Go, for he is a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My name before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel” (Acts 9:15).

Did every wave of emotional fear leave Ananias? We don’t know. The Bible says only that “Ananias went his way and entered the house” (verse 17). Though this follower of Christ had every reason to run in the opposite direction, there was one truth that gave him courage: God had called him to go and would be with him.

When God sends you forward, even though you are afraid, you can know that you are not alone.

O Lord, even when I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, You promised to be with me!

For Further Study: Acts 9:10–19; John 16:33; Deuteronomy 31:6



Daily Devotional Verses

“Now there was a certain disciple at Damascus named Ananias” (Acts 9:10). For Further Study: Acts 9:10–19; John 16:33; Deuteronomy 31:6

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