Pastor Thoughts - August 2021
Pastor’s Thought for August 2021
A Thought from Pastor Bryson,
“I think myself happy…” (Acts 26:2)
The context or background of Acts 26 has the apostle Paul standing before King Agrippa to defend himself against charges brought against him by the Jews. Paul is stating that he is happy that it is before King Agrippa that he could defend himself. Other translations use the word fortunate instead of happy.
The point is that Paul considers himself happy, blessed, or fortunate despite being a prisoner on his way to Rome to have Caesar render the final verdict. He is a prisoner facing charges of treason, inciting riots, and being disloyal to Caesar, all punishable by death. Yet, he considers himself happy, blessed, fortunate.
How is it that he has such a mindset in the midst of adversity? As Paul continues his conversation with King Agrippa, he shares with him his conversion experience (26:12-23). His relationship with Jesus as Savior has made a world of difference in the life of Paul. Because of “knowing” Jesus, he has peace, joy, strength, and hope.
What about those of us who profess to know Jesus today? We are living in very contentious times. Race relations remain a challenge. The pandemic is unrelenting. Life as we know it is just challenging. But living life in a fallen world has always been challenging. Given all that is going on, what is our mindset? Do we consider ourselves happy, blessed, or fortunate?
We should see ourselves as happy, blessed, or fortunate in that we are saved. Faith in Jesus gives us a right relationship with God resulting in peace between us and the Almighty. We do live in fear of the coming judgment – we are secure in our eternal destiny.
We should see ourselves as happy, blessed, or fortunate in that we have His divine presence with us always. We are never alone.
We should see ourselves as happy, blessed, or fortunate in that God provides for all our needs.
We should see ourselves as happy, blessed, or fortunate in that we have His peace that passes all understanding. Peace is not the absence of conflict, but assurance amid conflict or chaos.
Yes, these are challenging times, but do you think yourself happy? An intimate relationship with Jesus is the source of our being happy, blessed, or fortunate.