Every Trial Is An Opportunity


I love to watch Court TV, to observe people who chose to defend themselves before a judge. Some people launch an angry defense, some people try to charm the judge, and some people cry out, “Unfair!” I can honestly say that I have never seen someone appear before the judge and cheerfully make his or her defense, as Paul did in his trial before Felix, the governor. It is very hard to have a positive attitude when you feel that you are being wrongfully accused. Yet, it is a divine opportunity for us to publicly confess our faith by the way that we conduct ourselves or by the words that we choose in our defense.

  • How do you respond when you are being wrongfully accused or attacked?


10 And when the governor had nodded to him to speak, Paul replied: “Knowing that for many years you have been a judge over this nation, I cheerfully make my defense. 11 You can verify that it is not more than twelve days since I went up to worship in Jerusalem, 12 and they did not find me disputing with anyone or stirring up a crowd, either in the temple or in the synagogues or in the city. 13 Neither can they prove to you what they now bring up against me. 14 But this I confess to you, that according to the Way, which they call a sect, I worship the God of our fathers, believing everything laid down by the Law and written in the Prophets, 15 having a hope in God, which these men themselves accept, that there will be a resurrection of both the just and the unjust. 16 So I always take pains to have a clear conscience toward both God and man. 17 Now after several years I came to bring alms to my nation and to present offerings. 18 While I was doing this, they found me purified in the temple, without any crowd or tumult. But some Jews from Asia—19 they ought to be here before you and to make an accusation, should they have anything against me. 20 Or else let these men themselves say what wrongdoing they found when I stood before the council, 21 other than this one thing that I cried out while standing among them: ‘It is with respect to the resurrection of the dead that I am on trial before you this day.’”

English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


  1. How did Paul refute the charge that he was arguing and stirring up trouble (vs. 12)?
  2. How did Paul use his public confession of faith to address the charge that he was a follower of the Way (vss. 14-15)?
  3. What personal ambition did Paul strive toward (vs. 16)?
  4. What truth caused Paul to withstand his suffering so resolutely (vs. 21)? How can this also help anchor you in times of trouble?
  5. When you face adversity, how can you use it as an opportunity to glorify God with your words and deeds?


Each of us has faced situations in our life when we feel wronged. I have been ridiculed for proclaiming my belief in Jesus and his resurrection. Our stand for Christ is often a rock of offense to others. But, like Paul, we must  not cower or lash out in anger when facing our accusers. Paul spoke truth and used his trial as an opportunity to give his testimony, and ultimately, to glorify God. So must we also strive to glorify God when we face opposition to our faith. Our belief in the resurrection and in the glory to come will allow us to put our times of trial in the right perspective.

  • Pray that you can anchor your convictions in the resurrection when you are being wrongfully accused or attacked, and ask God to use the situation for his glory.