“In Him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of Him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of His will” (Ephesians 1:11)
I want to take you on a ride through history, but first, grab your Bible and read Acts 8:1-8. This is just after the death of Stephen, the Church’s first martyr (7:54-60). It begins the fulfillment of Jesus’ proclamation in Acts 1:8: “You will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
In 332 BC, the nation of Israel, along with much of the known world was conquered by Alexander the Great, a Greek warrior and king. Alexander’s conquests were not meant for destruction, but rather for assimilation into the Greek empire. All nations were educated in the Greek language for unification. Alexander ordered the ancient Hebrew Scriptures to be translated into Greek, a work that was accomplished in 70 days.
In 63 BC, the Roman Empire took Israel from the Greeks. Though known for their cruelty and harsh rule, they also established strong infrastructure wherever they went to enable swift transport for their military. Roads were laid by the Romans throughout the European and Asian continents.
Now, come back to the point of our key passage in Acts 8. After the stoning of Stephen persecution drove Jesus’ followers from Jerusalem into Judea and Samaria and all throughout the region. As they went, they traveled along those Roman-built roads and shared the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the unified Greek language. The story of God’s mercy, grace, and love could be read and taught – and understood – everywhere because the language was the same wherever they went.
While all these events seemed to be unconnected, harsh circumstances, it’s clear that the God of heaven and earth was “working all things together” for the spread of the Gospel. Now, don’t you think this same sovereign God is able to manage the circumstances of your life? He is at work “perfecting that which concerns you” (Psalm 138:8). I’m clinging to this promise with all my heart right now. He’s got the whole world in His hands – and that includes you. Stand still, Beloved, and watch Him make a way as only He can.