It’s an ill wind that blows nobody good.
I observe that even a horrible, terribly ill will can blow many people good. Please forgive my overuse of descriptive words here, but what Saul and his supporters were doing did not come near to being good. It seemed much more than an ill wind, his persecution and extermination of those who shared a faith different to the one he believed in.
And yet, God used this ill wind. Persecution, as it does today, has the effect of spreading people far away. The persecution of the church meant that its members were scattered far and wide, and as believers do in every age, they took their faith with them.
Philip went to Samaria and he proclaimed there. What a liberating experience it was for the possessed and dispossessed, the dominated tame and the paralysed or lame! So many people were set free that they and Simon the magician rejoiced at their new found faith. Many , including him, believed and were baptised. Granted he had much to learn, the good news of the gospel had taken root.
From there the Spirit took Philip to the wilderness road to Gaza .where he explained scripture to the Ethiopian eunuch, no doubt boosting faith where he had come from.
Who can fathom the ways of God?
Who can tell what God will do with the troubles you go through?
You fearful saints, fresh courage take,
The clouds you so much dread
Are big with mercy, and shall break
In blessings on your head.
Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,
But trust him for his grace;
Behind a frowning providence
He hides a smiling face.
His purposes will ripen fast,
Unfolding every hour;
The bud may have a bitter taste,
But sweet will be the flower.