Satan is not wise enough to see how God can cause his evil plans to backfire. He is so filled with pride and self-delusion that the very attacks he brings upon the Church will end up expanding the Kingdom of God instead of silencing and limiting its influence.
The persecution of Stephen released horrible attacks on the still young and growing Early Church. Authorities went from house to house looking for new converts. If they found someone who believed in Jesus they would be arrested and hauled off. This is how a backfire begins.
“A great wave of persecution began that day, sweeping over the church in Jerusalem; and all the believers except the apostles were scattered through the regions of Judea and Samaria” (Acts 8:1). Here is what hell did not anticipate, “But the believers who were scattered preached the Good News wherever they went” (Acts 8:4). Instead of confining the Gospel, God used an evil plan of persecution to expand its influence geographically.
When persecution of any kind begins and dislodges us from our current reality, God will use whatever is taking place for His glory and for the expansion of His Kingdom. Survey the places where persecution is taking place around the world. Those attacks will eventually backfire for the glory of God. Look closer to home to discover the beginnings of the same kind of persecution that is currently taking place in our nation. None of us will be immune.
When Phillip was scattered because of the persecution, he went to Samaria where he preached the Gospel. Many people were saved and healed. Because of Phillip’s preaching and the response of the people to the Gospel, the atmosphere began to radically change, “So, there was great joy in that city” (8:8). Joy was not considered in hell’s plan.
In the coming days when Satan thinks he is winning and advancing his plan by persecuting God’s people, don’t lose heart. A backfire will take place making way for a move of God that will leave great joy in its wake.