Making a Way


On the side of my house there is an easement for rainwater that flows into the creek at the rear of my property. When the water falls fast, all kinds of debris falls into the water and often makes little dams. Regardless of the obstacles or the detours, the water moves on. It is powerful and determined. Water does not just stop when it hits a block; it goes around it, over it, under it. It continues to flow. It makes a way.

  • Was there a time you were tempted to quit something when it became difficult or an obstacle stood in your way? What did that look like?


19 But Jews came from Antioch and Iconium, and having persuaded the crowds, they stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, supposing that he was dead. 20 But when the disciples gathered about him, he rose up and entered the city, and on the next day he went on with Barnabas to Derbe. 21 When they had preached the gospel to that city and had made many disciples, they returned to Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch, 22 strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying that through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God. 23 And when they had appointed elders for them in every church, with prayer and fasting they committed them to the Lord in whom they had believed.

24 Then they passed through Pisidia and came to Pamphylia. 25 And when they had spoken the word in Perga, they went down to Attalia,26 and from there they sailed to Antioch, where they had been commended to the grace of God for the work that they had fulfilled. 27 And when they arrived and gathered the church together, they declared all that God had done with them, and how he had opened a door of faith to the Gentiles. 28 And they remained no little time with the disciples.

English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


  1. What happened to Paul at the beginning of this passage? In spite of intense opposition, what did Paul and Barnabas do the next day?
  2. What cities did Paul and Barnabas visit after they preached the gospel in Derbe? What are the four things they did in these churches (vss. 22-23)?
  3. What was the result of their perseverance?
  4. During times of suffering and persecution, how do you respond?


Even though Paul and his fellow disciples encountered great obstacles, the gospel prevailed. People came to know Jesus, and those who already knew him were strengthened in their faith. Community was created, and a foundation for the gospel to reach the world was established. The result was glorious. The process? Not so much. It is tempting sometimes to believe we are on the wrong track because things are not going quite the way we imagined. Fear, doubt, and insecurity creep in, yet like the rainwater making a way, the Holy Spirit makes a way. It is not always obvious, but a way is there nonetheless. In trusting God and persevering, we get to be a part of his redemptive work.

  • Thank God that the Holy Spirit makes a way and uses you in the process.
  • Pray that God would give you strength and perseverance to trust him when life is difficult.