When I read this passage today, something struck me.
The whole reason why there was a Gentile church in Antioch and other places outside of Israel was that Saul had persecuted the church, causing the Christians to scatter from Jerusalem. Saul had indirectly caused the birth of these churches.
And now in the great irony of God, this same Saul went to the very churches he had indirectly started in order to strengthen them.
Sometimes as Christians we can’t see God’s plans. Bad things happen to us and we can’t understand why. But let us take comfort in the fact that whatever happens to us, God hasn’t lost control. He still has a plan, and he can turn the worst situations into something beautiful that brings glory to him.
And if we will trust him, we too may see the great irony of God…and rejoice.