15:36 Then after some days Paul said to Barnabas, “Let us now go back and visit our brethren in every city where we have preached the word of the Lord, and see how they are doing.” ... And so Barnabas took Mark and sailed to Cyprus; 40 but Paul chose Silas and departed, being commended by the brethren to the grace of God. 41 And he went through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches.
Take out the fight and suddenly this last section of chapter 15 turns very positive. It reminds me of the promise in Romans 8 that says "all things work together for good for those who love God and are called according to his purpose."
I often hear that verse either misquoted or twisted to say something it does not say. What the verse does not say is that when we love God everything is good. Jesus plainly said "In this world you will have trouble..." and He was talking to His closest followers.
What the verse does say is that when we love God AND are following His lead everything works together for good. In other words the good, the bad, and the ugly all end up creating something beautiful.
Paul and Barnabas loved God. They were following Him. The idea to return to the places they had already been to encourage them was a God lead idea. It certainly wasn't lead by the desire to have a relaxing vacation or a pleasant tour down memory lane. It was possible they would be facing jail time or death again. However that was not their concern. Their concern was to serve God and their fellow believers. This God idea lead to a fight. The fight lead to a parting of their ways. The parting of the ways created not one, but two ministry teams. More teams equals more territory covered. God used bad (the fight) to bring about good (two teams instead of one).
What does this mean for us? It means God is amazing and can and will make masterpieces from our messes. Remember this is all about Him. Our one "job" is to daily follow Him. The journey is the canvas God uses to make a painting far more beautiful than we could ever dream of painting. Abraham followed and despite all the disasters along the way God was painting. Same with Isaac and Jacob and all the way down through history. The disciples of Jesus were often failing but they were following and God was painting.
God wants to paint in your life too but He won't steal your canvas. Like Paul and Barnabas you and I have to choose to follow. The rest is all Him and He never fails even amid our greatest failures. Trust Him. Always.