Have we ever had a really bad day? Most of us have had days where we realize we made bad mistakes. Sometimes those mistakes can be bad enough that they lead to loss of life. Paul’s convictions prior to becoming a Christian not only led to a loss of lives, he also intentionally took the lives of innocent people. Paul explains to King Agrippa: “I not only locked up many of the saints in prison after receiving authority from the chief priests, but when they were put to death I cast my vote against them. And I punished them often in all the synagogues and tried to make them blaspheme, and in raging fury against them I persecuted them even to foreign cities” (Acts 26:10, 11 ESV).
Paul, in giving his defense to the king, described his “raging fury” against Christians. He retaliated against them, drug them out of their synagogues and humiliated them, forced them to blaspheme, put them in prison, stripped them away from their families by sending them to foreign cities, and cast his vote against them to have them killed. Not only was Paul giving a defense of himself, but he was defending the Gospel and calling people within earshot to repent!
Paul’s defense worked very well, but unfortunately he had already appealed to Caesar so King Agrippa couldn’t release him: “This man is doing nothing to deserve death or imprisonment. . . This man could have been set free if he had not appealed to Caesar” (vs. 31, 32). Paul’s bad day recounting his past went from bad to worse, but he still managed to use the rest of his life for good by preaching while imprisoned! It goes to show that even on our worst days we can still put God first and celebrate that we are saved and others can be saved too.