TO CHEW ON: "Those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went." Acts 8:4.

Have you ever had to move because it wasn’t safe for you to live in your old home any more? That’s what happened to the followers of Jesus after Stephen’s death. Everyone, from people in government to neighbors, was out to get them. They were threatened, arrested, and many more were killed.

So they moved to other places in Judea and Samaria. Now there were no more big gatherings in the Jerusalem temple court. The large praise meetings stopped. There was hardly anyone left to go to the prayer gatherings and potluck dinners. Because of persecution the Christians left Jerusalem and were scattered all around.

"Conversions of the Samaritans" - Matthias Scheits, 1972
"Philip at Samaria" - Artist unknown, 1573

But they didn’t stop talking about Jesus. Everywhere they went, they spread the good news. Jesus had died for sins. People could be friends with God again. Everyone could live in Holy Spirit power. People could look forward to heaven when they died.

Many heard, and accepted Jesus. In a Samaritan city where Philip went , he explained about God’s power and people were healed. It brought joy to the whole city. Because of a bad thing – persecution – a good thing happened – more people heard about Jesus and accepted Him.

God can still bring good things out of bad. Your sickness and time spent in hospital may mean you get to tell your roommate about Jesus.

A flood in your city might help you meet people in a shelter who become lifelong friends.

Ask God to help you see even bad things as good gifts from Him.

PRAYER: Dear Jesus, You can bring good things out of bad. Help me to trust You for this in my life. Amen.

MORE: Your Bad to Good

- Name some bad things that have happened to you.

- What good things came out of the bad?

- What bad things are you facing now?

- Will you trust God to bring something good out of those bad things?