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Dec 11 Devotion: Considering and Counting

Acts 26:2 – “ I think myself happy, king Agrippa, because I shall answer for myself this day before thee touching all the things whereof I am accused of the Jews:”

In this excerpt from the Apostle Paul’s life, we find him brought before King Agrippa by Festus. Prior to this hearing, Paul had been a captive for a long while. I cannot be certain of the length, but I know for certain that Paul was In prison for over two years’ time. Before this day, Paul had been judged by Festus, judged at Jerusalem by Felix and had many Jews conspiring to find a way to kill Paul without a trial.

Needless to say, Paul was not having an overly pleasant time whilst in bondage. Yet, the first words out of Paul’s mouth were, “I think myself happy …”

How many of us would say the same thing after a long term of wrongful imprisonment and having a bounty on our head by the leaders of our community? Paul tells us why he thought himself happy later in the verse, but no sought he had joy while in prison (just like we heard preached about on Sunday).

Paul saw his captivity for what it was, God’s protection. While he was healed in prison under Festus’ (the Governor’s) control he was safe from the snares that the Jews would have laid for Paul. In chapter 25 of Acts, the Jews tried to trick Festus into bringing Paul back to Jerusalem so that they could ambush and kill Paul during the journey. No doubt, Paul recognized that prison was the safest place that God could have placed him. Not only did prison secure Paul from the murderous plotters, it was the safest place because it was God’s will for Paul to be there. Paul didn’t see bars and shackles, he saw the providential grace and protection of the Lord.

Additionally, Paul remarks that he thought himself happy because he was about to testify to Agrippa touching ALL THINGS the Jews had accused him. Every claim that the Jews had leveled against Paul stemmed from one thing, Christ. Paul was overjoyed about this testimony because Agrippa was about to hear about Jesus and why He truly is the sole Redeemer of mankind. Paul treated all the imprisonment and isolation as ducks have water roll off their backs. It didn’t matter so long as Christ was glorified. Paul thought himself happy because his predicament in the flesh was orchestrated so that he had the opportunity to present the gospel.

How often, if we took the time to consider the spiritual significance of our situation, would we also count ourselves happy knowing that God had used hardship in our life to present Christ to another person? Paul wouldn’t have met king Agrippa anywhere else unless he was in chains testifying before him. How often would we realize that the place we don’t desire to be in the flesh is the safest place for us spiritually if we only asked the Lord to open our ignorant eyes? How much more diligently would we pay attention to how we represented Christ to the world if we realized that he has orchestrated every encounter that we have for either our benefit or to open an opportunity to testify of Him?

Your fellowservant in Christ,

Bro. Jordan Foster



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