Paul begins the second trip with a huge rift with Barnabas. Not an auspicious beginning. That setback only leads to more setbacks as Paul and Silas is prohibited by the Holy Spirit from going to Asia. It seems God is not blessing their mission work. The closed doors led them to the port city of Troas far off course. But that is when God gives them a larger vision, launching them to Macedonia. This second mission trip turns out to be far bigger than planned. In Macedonia, Paul matures as a pastor and a theologian.
Plans don’t usually go as planned. It can be combination of our own faults and God’s prohibitions. But God uses all setbacks for greater good. Like Paul we need the courage of persistence, humility to change and the wisdom to balance the two.
We must persist in the purpose of God trusting that God is in control
We must be willing to change plans trusting that when God closes doors, God means to open other doors. God is leading.
1-Share a story of a rift in friendship. What caused the rift? Did you ever reconcile?
2-Share a story of when things didn’t go as planned? What challenged the plan? What changes did you make?
3-What things do you believe God is calling you to persist in? What things do you have to change?
“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”