Satan’s aversion for the kingdom of God and all that pertains to it is a long established fact. Therefore, he thrives in devising different methods (subtle and violent) targeted towards destabilizing, disrupting or even stopping the work of the Kingdom.
However, discerning believers need to know that his crafty and evil antics, no matter how vicious, cannot stop God from fulfilling His programme.
The work of God had been going on successfully in Jerusalem since the disciples of Jesus Christ were baptized in the Holy Ghost. This record of achievement was intimidating to the devil, hence he determined to stop the work.
Having failed in his earlier efforts, he intensified his efforts by ensuring that Stephen, a disciple who was “full of faith and power” was arrested, accused falsely before the Jewish council of blasphemy against Moses and God, and finally killed.
Contrary to the command by Jesus that the disciples should extend the gospel beyond Jerusalem (Mark 16:15; Acts 1:8), they confined themselves to Jerusalem, hence the persecution. It was this intense persecution that scattered them to other cities outside.
Once he escaped to the city of Samaria, Philip did not allow the persecution to stop him from preaching the gospel. It then means the scattering actually led to the spreading of the gospel beyond Jerusalem.
As believers, we should not panic when faced with persecution, either on account of our faith in the work of the ministry or even in our secular engagements, realizing that “even hereunto were [we] called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that [we] should follow his steps” (1 Peter 2:21).
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: It takes unswerving endurance to clinch the victory.