But Saul began to destroy the church. Going from house to house, he dragged off both men and women & put them in prison.
This sounds terrible right? Previously the book of Acts has told us that the gospel advanced from house to house (Acts 5:42), now persecution does. What’s going on? Is Satan winning?
We get our answer in the very next verse. "Those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went" (Acts 8:4). Satan continues his work, but God has a master plan! We get more details in chapter eleven. "Now those who had been scattered by the persecution that broke out when Stephen was killed traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus & Antioch, spreading the word... The Lord’s hand was with them, & a great number of people believed & turned to the Lord" (Acts 11:19-21). That’s 300 miles away! God will not be stopped. Whatever He purposes to do, He will do. Even when it looks like the Devil is winning, He isn’t. God is still in control, and God can make the worst things turnaround for His glory and for our good. He even uses the attacks of the enemy to help advance His gospel for His glory!
The perfect example of this is coming up in just a few weeks: EASTER! When Jesus died on that cross the Devil must have thought for sure he had delivered the decisive blow. Can you imagine how he celebrated? But we know that God had a plan. Jesus was raised from the dead! He conquered the power of sin and Satan. And by His death and resurrection He made it possible for us to join in that victory.
So whatever struggle you are facing, even if it seems like God has forgotten you and the Devil is winning, remember that God wins. Your suffering is not in vain. It serves a purpose, even if you can't see it right now. So continue to trust God, continue to seek Him and know that it will work out in the end; because God wins.