Happy In Court!

Have you ever been happy about going to court?  Whether you are going for a traffic ticket, or to serve as a juror, it is usually not a welcome activity. It is something about going to a place that renders life and death decisions for people that is not welcoming. Yet we find someone in scripture who found himself extremely happy about being in court:

 Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Thou art permitted to speak for thyself. Then Paul stretched forth the hand, and answered for himself:

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:

3 Especially because I know thee to be expert in all customs and questions which are among the Jews: wherefore I beseech thee to hear me patiently.Acts 26:1-3 (KJV)

Paul was finally coming before a judge (king) that knew something about the customs of the Jews. When Festus, the procurator or overseer of Judea heard Paul’s case and was befuddled trying to figure out exactly what Paul was being accused of, he found nothing Paul had done to be worthy of death. However, the persistence of the Jewish officials forced him to consider Paul’s request to be heard in Rome. When King Agrippa actually wanted to hear Paul, Paul was ecstatic. Even though he was still being treated as a prisoner, he begins his treatise by saying: "I think myself happy!’ 

This is the stance that we need to take when we are judged for things we are not guilty of. It may seems as if all is lost. If everything that you have worked to do to establish a good name is being thrown out of the window; as if you will be forever.labeled  for the accusation rather than on. the. basis of your life. As you can see by reading the adventures of Paul, it happens to the best of us.

The cultural climate in our world is changing. It is becoming more common every day to judge a person harshly if they fail to adhere to the popular opinion of our day on a topic or a personality. This kind of climate is the world that Paul operated in. To borrow a vernacular, "it’s my way or the highway"is the order of the day. Too many people are becoming so narrow in their thinking that they won’t. hear anything other than what sounds good to them. Paul was in prison, and the result could have been a death sentence; the pressure was on. Yet Paul did two things, he "thought’ himself happy. He. was in a circumstance that he did not create, nor could he control. However,  given the opportunity to speak for himself concerning the accusations made against him brought him joy. Second,  he acknowledged the one who was hearing his case as one who was well versed on the subject at hand. It never hurts to find something good to say about your adversary. In fact Jesus said this;

"Agree with thine adversary quickly while thou art on the way with him, lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison.  Matthew. 5:25 (NKJV)

After recognizing your situation and. your judge, then tell the story.  When you tell the story,  the old, old. story of  Jesus. and. His love, as it came to you, nine times out of ten you’re going to get a response something like Agrippa gave after hearing Paul:

Then said Agrippa unto Festus, This man might have been set at liberty, if he had not appealed unto Caesar. Acts 26:32 (KJV)