The One in Control of All
Sovereign God, I thank You for Your bold, powerful, reliable presence with me today and every day.
Read ACTS 25:13-22
Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Paul had aroused the curiosity of Agrippa, just as Jesus had aroused the curiosity of his great-uncle, Herod Antipas.
Festus’s governorship had only just commenced, yet already he was casting around for some way of solving the problem Paul’s case presented. If he released Paul he would immediately incur the Jews’ wrath. Yet there was not a shred of evidence for the Roman legal system to convict him. Further, Festus was floundering as to how to substantiate Paul’s appeal to Caesar. He perceived it as a matter of religious superstition and “a dead man named Jesus whom Paul claimed was alive” (19). Thus when King Agrippa II arrived, Festus grabbed the opportunity of advice from someone better informed on Jewish religious matters.
It would be easy to consider that Paul was at the mercy of incompetent, unjust rulers, but as with Jesus’ trial, there is One with greater power who controls all. God allows evil in this world, but its time is limited. Luke’s readers will remember Agabus, the prophet who took Paul’s belt and tied his own hands and feet, pronouncing “In this way the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem will bind the owner of this belt and will hand him over to the Gentiles” (Acts 21:11). Paul stated his “only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me–the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace” (Acts 20:24). These trials show that Paul is not a pawn in Roman hands but a man of God testifying to the resurrected Christ who has brought God’s grace into his life.
How much more do the trials, injustices and sufferings of our lives provide opportunity for us to testify to the good news of God’s grace! The martyrs in heaven cry out, “How long?” and God replies “until the full number” is reached (Rev. 6:10-11). God is always the One in control.
Bring before God the most troubling situation in your world today. Commit it into his hands and affirm your trust that he is in control and will act for good.
Lord God, what a comfort it is to know that You are in control of the world, and my world. I affirm my trust in You.