Scripture Reading: Acts 15:36-41
“And there arose a sharp disagreement, so that they separated from each other. Barnabas took Mark with him and sailed away to Cyprus, but Paul chose Silas and departed, having been commended by the brethren to the grace of the Lord. And he went through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches.” (Acts 15:39-41)
It is amazing how God causes all things to work together for good and for His glory: “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28). God is sovereign over all things. He even uses conflict between believers for good. The context of these verses is the disagreement between Paul and Barnabas which resulted in them separating from one another (vs. 37-39).
While the division and separation of these two great Christian leaders is very disappointing, God worked things out for the good of the gospel. Now two missionary teams were sent out instead of one. Mark was given a second chance by Barnabas, the son of encouragement. Silas was a great gain for Paul. And we also know through Paul’s epistles that fellowship was restored at a later time between Paul and Barnabas and also between Paul and Mark.
God used the conflict between Paul and Barnabas for His glory. The two missionary teams brought many to Christ. God used the conflict to restore Mark to ministry. It is so comforting to know that God will somehow turn our troubles, trials and even conflicts into good. God is sovereign over all things.
It is also comforting to know that God brings reconciliation between people who are at odds with one another. It may take time to do so, but we must be open to God’s work of reconciliation. When healing comes, there are sweet reunions and new paths forward. We have to trust God, humble ourselves, and seek peace with others.
Lord Jesus, You are my King who is in control of all things. You rule and over-rule the circumstances we face. You cause all things to turn out for good and for Your glory. I rest in Your sovereignty and give thanks for Your providential and at work in my life.
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