A Cheerful Defense

Douglas VanBronkhorst

READ : Acts 24:10-27

Paul was bounced around to various authorities in Palestine including Felix in Caesarea. This man was governor of Judea. He had Pontius Pilate’s old job. Paul began his speech with an interesting statement, “I cheerfully make my defense?” Cheerfully? What reasons did Paul have to be cheerful?

First, he had yet another opportunity to be a witness, this time with a captive audience! Since preaching Christ was Paul’s first love, he was happy! Second, Paul knew he had a good message as his defense. To be sure, Felix was incorrigible, proud, power-hungry, profane, and self-centered in the extreme. But Paul had the gospel! The gospel is foundational truth about God and people. For Paul it is rooted in the recent history of Palestine, the Jews, and empire. It is accompanied by the Holy Spirit’s power. Why wouldn’t Paul be cheerful? He had every reason to expect success. Finally, Paul knew that Felix’s response and Paul’s fate ultimately lay in God’s hands, not in the Governor’s palace.

Equipped with the same message Paul had, how can we not also cheerfully witness for Christ?

PRAYER

Lord Jesus, give me the joy of my salvation, especially as I speak about you even in threatening situations.