Difficult, even tragic events will come into our lives causing us to question their purpose. A young man bold in his witness of the resurrected Christ was silenced forever by the stone-throwing religious zealots. This tragedy shook the young Christian church, but God used this event for a greater purpose.
The death of Stephen launched the first persecution of the early Christian church. The new believers had to flee Jerusalem and were scattered throughout the Gentile world. In doing so, they shared the message of Jesus’ resurrection. We read in Acts, “The Lord’s hand was with them, and a great number of people believed and turned to the Lord.”
Despite these difficult circumstances, the Lord’s hand utilized the new Christians to sow His Word and as a result, a great multitude came to faith. God’s hand makes miracles possible, even in the most difficult of circumstances. Sometimes, God places us in a challenging time to sow God’s Word in the hearts of all people.
With this in mind, we can pray, “Dear Lord Jesus, there are times when I think that no good thing can come out of my circumstance. Thank you for reminding me that You are bigger than any circumstance in my life and that You are using everything to try and draw people to You — that Your hand is in all things. Thank You that Your plans and purposes are above my understanding. Use me, Lord, to draw others to You. Amen.”