And there arose on that day a great persecution against the church in Jerusalem, and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles....... Now those who were scattered went about preaching the word. (Acts 8:1,4)
It never ceases to amaze me how God can constantly use the persecution of His people for the benefit of His people and the advancement of His Kingdom. The suffering of God's people can seem cruel and unjust to those of us foolishly fixated on this temporary life and dwelling. However, so can formal army training in the midst of boot camp unless soldiers remember that the end result is them becoming a more perfected soldier properly equipped for the greater battle.
Just before Jesus' ascension upon His sovereign throne, He made it clear that His followers would be His witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8). And here in the aftermath of Stephen’s stoning, we see the fruition of this promise as Jesus' witnesses flee persecution within the walls of Jerusalem and are scattered throughout all the regions of Judea and Samaria.
God's voice as spoken by His faithful followers now begins to resound everywhere rather than echoing in just one particular region. God has a way with His word.
The hammer of persecution has not shattered the good news but has now scattered it all over the place.
And that being said, there is another lesson here that we ought to comprehend and cling to: No amount of intimidation or ill-treatment ought to ever shut the mouths of Jesus' faithful followers from proclaiming His name.
Not even a forced flight from house and homeland should leave us foolish and fainthearted.
O‘ Lord keep us concentrated on Your commands and commission no matter the calamity; for life here is a pilgrimage rather than a pleasure, and we are Your pilgrims steadily striving for Your eternal promised land.