When Persecution is a “Good” and “God” Thing
Jesus told His disciples to go into all the world and preach the gospel. He wanted them to go outside of Jerusalem to the rest of the world. But there is a law of physics called the “law of inertia”. The law of inertia states that an object at rest tends to stay at rest and an object in motion tends to stay in motion. There is clearly a “spiritual corollary” to this law. It is easier to sit on our couch and think about Jesus than to go out in the street or the cubicle and talk about Him. In the book of Acts we are told in chapter 8 that a great persecution arose against the church (Acts 8:1). Followers of Jesus were scattered to other places. Our guy Philip ended up in the city of Samaria. We read about this in Acts 8:5-8: 5 Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria and preached Christ to them. 6 And the multitudes with one accord heeded the things spoken by Philip, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did. 7 For unclean spirits, crying with a loud voice, came out of many who were possessed; and many who were paralyzed and lame were healed. 8 And there was great joy in that city.
God took something that most everyone would have considered to be a bad thing, persecution, and made a “good” or “God” thing out of it. Philip leaves Jerusalem because of the persecution and ends up in Samaria where large numbers of people enter into the kingdom of God and Philip becomes a “miracle worker”. God brings “great joy” to the city of Samaria through His messenger, Philip.
This is how God works, if we are patient and obedient. Listen, none of us likes any form of persecution. None of us wants it in our lives. However, it is going to happen. Persecution and suffering are just a normal part of God’s activity in our lives. Will we, like Philip, follow God and continue to tell others about Him in the midst of the persecution? If so, we, like Philip, will see God take a “bad thing” and make it into a “good thing”.