Inside every large problem is a small problem struggling to get out.
This was my high school yearbook quotation. A pessimist may view this statement that conflict is endless. The optimist may aver that all problems are not as big as they initially appear. What do I think? Truthfully, I was searching for a pithy quote and thought the apparent contradiction sounded cool. Actually, for many years, I would quote this backwards, stating that inside every small problem, is a large problem struggling to get out!
One possible interpretation is that every problem we face is not always what is seems to be. When we view our problems through the lens of past experiences and how it resolved in the past, it will definitely color our present expectations.
Stephen was the first martyr of the Christian church and after his death, widespread persecution resulted. This persecution led to a dispersion of the believers throughout the known world. A pessimist may view this dispersion as a deathblow to the nascent Christians, preventing them from organizing and consolidating their power. But God was working through these dark days and using these events to move His people and Church to reach the unbelieving world.
Now those who were scattered after the persecution that arose over Stephen traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Antioch, preaching the word to no one but the Jews only. But some of them were men from Cyprus and Cyrene, who, when they had come to Antioch, spoke to the Hellenists, preaching the Lord Jesus. And the hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number believed and turned to the Lord.
The dispersion led to the rapid spread of the Gospel throughout much of the known world. What may have seemed like a large problem was, instead, a blessing! Ask God to give you His peace and perspective to see you through whatever problems you may face. Our problems, large or small, are in His hands and in His control.
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.