“Saul was one of the official witnesses at the killing of Stephen. A great wave of persecution began that day, sweeping over the church in Jerusalem, and all the believers except the apostles fled into Judea and Samaria. (Some godly men came and buried Stephen with loud weeping.) Saul was going everywhere to devastate the church. He went from house to house, dragging out both men and women to throw them into jail. But the believers who had fled Jerusalem went everywhere preaching the Good News about Jesus.”
Acts 8:1-4, NLT
John and Betty Stam were missionaries to China who were martyred by the Communists in the 1930’s while they were still in their late twenties. John Stam once said, “Take away everything I have, but do not take away the sweetness of walking and talking with the King of glory!”
A Sri Lankan minister was speaking at the World Congress on Evangelism in Berlin in 1966. He said, “The question to ask is not ‘Why are we being persecuted?’ but, ‘Why are we not being persecuted?'”
The second century North African Christian writer and apologist Tertullian, (c.160-225) addressing the rulers of the Roman Empire, said, “Kill us, torture us, condemn us, grind us to the dust…the more you mow us down the more we grow…”
The martyrdom of Stephen is a catastrophe, right? Or is it a catalyst? Could the Acts 8 crisis be a catapult? Could it catapult God’s people out of one place and into another – further immersing them into His perfect will?
Of course, there is Jesus. If there ever was a crisis, it would have to be the cross: a catastrophe of epic proportions? The Son of God has been crucified on a criminal’s cross. But the crisis…the catastrophe… is really the most significant catalyst of all-time which catapults the entire human race into the age of grace.
What is your catastrophe? Divorce? A wayward teen? Death of a loved one? Jobless? Anxiety? Depression? Worry and fear?
God has a very solid track record of taking awful circumstances and turning them into awesome springboards.
QUESTION: Will you let the Lord take your catastrophe and turn it into a catalyst? Will you have faith that God can take your crisis and turn it into a catapult?