13 “Lord,” Ananias answered, “I have heard many reports about this man and all the harm he has done to your holy people in Jerusalem. 14 And he has come here with authority from the chief priests to arrest all who call on your name.” 15 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. 16 I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.”
If anyone objects that the Lord does not speak to us in visions today, the answer is that the authority of Scripture is more than confirmed for us, and we must listen to God in that.
These verses also teach us that only people who are prepared to suffer are fit to preach the Gospel to a hostile world. Therefore, if we want to be faithful ministers of Christ, we must not only beg him for the spirit of knowledge and wisdom, but also for perseverance and strength, so that we may never be discouraged by the desperate suffering that is the lot of the godly.