When Paul appeared in court he heard outlandish charges leveled against him: “This man is a political zealot. He’s a troublemaker, stirring up the Jewish population worldwide. And he is a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes and provokes great crowds against Rome. He is guilty of sedition!”
This was all a trap set by his opponents, yet Paul saw an even bigger trap: Satan himself was trying to get him off his central message of Jesus.
As a skilled debater, Paul easily could have engaged his opponents. But he refused to become entangled in their political fight. He made that choice for the sake of the gospel he preached.
Eventually, Paul was taken before King Agrippa to defend himself. But in the royal court, Paul chose to preach Christ. At his own peril, he boldly told Agrippa his dramatic story: “King, I heard the Lord’s voice! He knocked me off my horse and told me his name. He said he was Jesus” (see Acts 26:13-14).
The king was stirred by Paul’s message. He refused to rule on the apostle, instead decreeing that he be sent to Rome to appear in Caesar’s court. During the night before Paul’s transfer, the Lord stood beside him and said, “Be of good cheer, Paul; for as you have testified for me in Jerusalem, so you must also bear witness at Rome” (Acts 23:11).
That was all the encouragement Paul needed. When he appeared before the highest political leader of the day, Paul would still stay on message: “Jesus is lord of all!”
This is how we become a testimony of hope in a world without any. When someone asks us, we can answer in confidence and faith, “Jesus is my hope and peace. I do not need this world, I just need him.”