Word for the World devotionals from Dr. Randy White

God’s Mysterious Ways

“Saul was in hearty agreement with putting him to death. And on that day a great persecution began against the church in Jerusalem, and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles…Therefore, those who had been scattered went about preaching the word.” (Acts 8:1, 4; NASB95)  

Before Jesus ascended to heaven, He instructed the disciples to be witnesses “in Jerusalem, Judea, and to the remotest parts of the earth” (Acts 1:8).  However, they had not yet made any effort to go to the remotest parts! 

Sometimes God uses hard means to His intended end.  The persecution of the Christian church in the first century was used to spread the Gospel throughout the world.  In many ways, gentiles owe a great debt of gratitude to Jewish believers for the persecution they endured.  Because they were forced to flee, gentiles came to hear the Gospel.

And, to add to the mystery of God, a young man named Saul quickly came to the forefront of leadership in persecuting the new church.  His work, more than any, scattered the early believers to the “remotest parts.”  Once scattered, God used this same man, after a conversion experience, to take the Gospel to these lands, establishing churches among those who fled.

I don’t always understand why God works the way He does, but I must always trust that God sees the big picture, knows what He is doing, is still Sovereign and on His throne, and is going to achieve victory in the end!   

In His Grace,
Dr. Randy White

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