“And now it is because of my hope in what God has promised our fathers that I am on trial today. This is the promise our twelve tribes are hoping to see fulfilled as they earnestly serve God day and night. O king, it is because of this hope that the Jews are accusing me.” — Acts 26:6–7 (NIV84)
In this account, Paul was on trial before King Agrippa. The religious leaders of the Jews wanted Paul tried and killed because of His proclamation of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I want you to notice that the word “hope” is used three times in these two verses. Even on trial, Paul spoke boldly about the certain hope he had in Jesus Christ. He even used that moment to preach the Gospel to Agrippa, as well as to his accusers. So, what was Paul’s hope? His hope was that Jesus was the Messiah who was promised by God to Adam and Eve in the Garden after they fell into sin. His hope was the same hope that the twelve tribes of Israel had ever since they became a people and a nation. It is the hope that evil and death have been conquered by the Messiah, and that there will be a resurrection of the dead and life eternal for all who believe. Paul spoke boldly of this hope. For Paul, this hope was not a wish but a certainty! It was this hope that he desired Agrippa and his accusers to understand and believe.
Friends in Christ, is your hope that certain? Can you boldly speak to the world around you about the certain hope you have? I know it can seem intimidating at times, but only the Devil would want us to remain silent in those times of witnessing. Consider the account of this verse. Agrippa certainly needed to hear about Jesus. So did the Jewish leaders who were accusing Jesus. We witness to the world around us not to be argumentative and combative but to be persuasive about truths that have eternal consequences. God has placed people in our lives for the sole purpose of us sharing our hope with them.
May the Lord place before all of us an open door to witness to Jesus to the people God places in our lives.