“The very things that have seemed most unfavorable to God’s people have often turned out to be for their good.
What harm did the persecution do to the church of Christ after Stephen’s death? Those who were scattered “preached the word wherever they went” (Acts 8:4).
What harm did imprisonment do St. Paul? It gave him time to write many of those letters which are now read all over the world.
What real harm did the persecution of bloody Mary do to the cause of the English Reformation? The blood of the martyrs became the seed of the church.
What harm does persecution do the people of God at this very day? It only drives them nearer to Christ: it only makes them cling more closely to the throne of grace, the Bible, and prayer.
Let all true Christians lay these things to heart, and take courage. We live in a world where all things are ordered by a hand of perfect wisdom, and where in all things God works for the good of those who love him (Romans 8:28). The powers of this world are only tools in the hand of God: he is always using them for his own purposes, however little they may be aware of it. They are the instruments by which he is forever cutting and polishing the living stones of his spiritual temple, and all their schemes and plans will only turn to his praise. Let us be patient in days of trouble and darkness, and look forward. The very things which now seem against us are all working together for God’s glory. We only see half now: a little while longer, we shall see all; and we shall then discover that all the persecution we now endure was, like “the seal” and “the guard” (verse 66), tending to God’s glory. God can make the “wrath of man praise him” (Psalm 77:10, KJV).”
Ryle, J. C. (1993). Matthew. Crossway Classic Commentaries (287–288). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.