Read Acts 16:6-10.
It could have been a demoralizing trip. Instead of leading a team on a mission trip to an unreached region as I had planned, I was denied entry to my final destination and sent home. And then, the team—which continued under alternate leadership—was ejected from our intended field.
But strangely, I was never discouraged. I found myself reflecting on my paraphrased version of Nik Ripken’s words, “The enemy has never stopped doing what the enemy has always done, but God has never stopped doing what God has always done.”
And that thought took me back to the experience of Paul who wanted to visit the province of Asia, but was prevented from doing so by the Holy Spirit. Instead, he was called to minister in Macedonia. The result of this divine redirect was the conversion of Lydia in Philippi and the Philippian jailer.
It should not be a surprise when things go wrong in our ministry efforts. We have a real and active opponent, but God uses our hardships and “Plan Bs” to bring about the greater good!
Oh, and that team that got displaced? They found their “Macedonia” and presented the gospel to more than a thousand people, over 400 of which made professions of faith in Christ. It is true—God is still doing what God has always done!
God, You are not surprised by the schemes of the enemy and constantly use trials to show Your goodness and glory. Amen.
-from Scott P., a missionary on our Mobilization Team