Good morning! Today, I’m going to bring you back to our study on 1 Peter. We have covered:
- That Christians have been chosen for new birth, and new birth in Christ is our living hope.
- Our inheritance and present joy as believers.
- The new birth’s holiness, which is preparation, purification (sanctification) and practice.
- A challenge to our behavior and being set apart in Christ as witnesses, as citizens, as slaves, wives and husbands.
So it is fitting, now that we have the foundation we must continue to stand firm in our faith in spite of the things that go on around us. Join me as we continue in 1 Peter chapter 3 verses 13-17. Today, I will cover verses 13-14, but will provide the full caption of the verses until we complete our review through verse 17.
13 Now, who will want to harm you if you are eager to do good? 14 But even if you suffer for doing what is right, God will reward you for it. So don’t worry or be afraid of their threats.15 Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your hope as a believer, always be ready to explain it. 16 But do this in a gentle and respectful way.[c] Keep your conscience clear. Then if people speak against you, they will be ashamed when they see what a good life you live because you belong to Christ.17 Remember, it is better to suffer for doing good, if that is what God wants, than to suffer for doing wrong!
As a brief recap, the author wrote in verse 12, “but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.” If the Lord’s face is against evil, the author of this letter (Peter) asks us in verse 13, now who will want to harm you if you are eager to do what is good?
For many of us we could pause mentally and think of all the people who desire to do us harm, for valid reasons (like a sibling who is waiting to get us back for the last time we played a trick on them) or maybe there is no valid reason except a person is angry about life and doesn’t care about you or people around them.
The author further follows-up in verse 14, but even if you do suffer for doing what is right you are blessed.
See this letter was written many years ago to Christians who experienced various trials, because they were the few Christians that lived amongst a pagan society. They were constantly living in conflict with their culture. Peter’s task in this letter was to encourage the brothers and sisters in faith to remain focused on the hope that they have in Christ Jesus. That even when they are persecuted or are suffering for their belief they are encouraged to remain strong in their faith.
The prophet Isaiah shared with us in Isaiah 8:11:
“For the LORD spoke this to me while his hand was strong upon me, and warned me not to walk in the way of this people, saying: Do not call conspiracy all that this people calls conspiracy, and do not fear what it fears, or be in dread. But the LORD of hosts, him you shall regard as holy; let him be your fear, and let him be your dread.“ (NRSV)
Therefore, if we go back to our verses 13, “who will want to harm you when you are eager to do good?”, we begin to see our lives at play. While we may experience horrible things in our lives, things we may not understand, we need to know the Lord knows everything that we have been through and the suffering we have had to endure. By no means do I say this lightly, because only the Lord knows how to bring healing in situations of extreme tragedy and post-traumatic stress. However, I want to challenge you to open your heart and your ears to allow the Lord to be greater than your fears. The Lord who is our protector, our safety and our eternal assurance. Not our insurance that is for a specific period of time, but our assurance that no matter what comes, our hope and eternity rests in Christ Jesus, and him alone.
Sisters and brothers, as we live in a society that is similar to the pagan society Peter was writing about, let us choose not to fear living a Christian life. Let us continue to live as one who is in Christ Jesus in spite of the enemies plot to keep us in fear and influenced by doubt. May our God be greater than our fears.
Father God, thank you for the consistent reminder from the Old Testament to the New Testament, not to walk in the way of the wicked or be intimidated in fear by people, pagan gods, etc., but to hold you as Holy and above all things. Lord, forgive us for the times when we have walked with the wicked or have done evil against another. Lord, change our hearts and our minds as we surrender our past, our current and our future to you. Lord, lead us in the way we should go. Help is to live a life free of fear and focus on you as the authority over all things. Lord, as we come to you in prayer calm our fears and remind us of who we are in you. Direct our steps and lead us to your purpose for our lives. Lord, we lift up those who have experienced trauma or painful situations in their lives. Lord, we ask for healing in their minds, hearts both physically, emotionally and spiritually. Lord, you know how to heal what has been broken so we trust you today and believe that healing is here. In Jesus name, amen.
Keep praying! Keep trusting! Keep pursuing the Lord!
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