Verse of the Day Devotion. 1 Peter 3:15
“But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect,” – 1 Peter 3:15
In Romans, Paul says the following that gives me, and I am sure many others, comfort during difficult times. “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28. We must always understand this whenever tough times come. We may not see what is happening as good, but we can be assured that during times of difficulty, the ultimate end will be good, for He is always watching over the righteous. “For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer. But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.” 1 Peter 3:12. So, I ask the following question. If the above statements are true, how can anything work for our detriment if we are truly the Lord’s? Can anyone bring about ultimate harm to us whom God loves and blesses? Peter puts it this way. “Now who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good?” 1 Peter 3:13.
Then we read in the next verse, “But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed.” 1 Peter 3:14a. There may be times when we could suffer by the hands of wicked men. The world hates the message of Christ, and ultimately those who profess it. God may have a purpose in allowing it. But at the end of this verse, he states “you will be blessed.” Matthew writes the words of Christ where he wrote, “Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:10. We do not always understand why God permits us to suffer, but He would not allow it except for a specific reason. Someone may be turned from unbelief to salvation by seeing what we endure. Or maybe it is for our good. God knows. But we must understand there is a reason for everything we face and must trust God that this is for our good and/or the good of another. The question here is, do we trust Him in all things? And then looking at the last part of this verse, “Have no fear of them, nor be troubled,” 1 Peter 3:14b. We are not to fear what man can do to us for we belong to God. “So we can confidently say, The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?” Hebrews 13:6.
Now we come to our focus verse. “but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame.” 1 Peter 3:15-16. If we are convinced from the depth of our soul that the promised help of God is all-sufficient, we shall be most effectually armed against all fear. And through this, we must always be ready not only to profess our faith but be ready to defend what we believe. As Christians, we must become not just readers, but students of the Bible who not only believe the truth but have good reasons for believing it. We must become ones who can meet error with the argument, ‘It is written,’ and maintain the truth in all situations, using weapons taken from, as Charles Spurgeon puts it ‘the armory of God’s inspired Book’.
The idea here is that we do not just read the scriptures, but we study them, do whatever is necessary to understand what is being said. There are many in this world who question the reality of what we believe and need us to explain it to them in a fashion they can accept. We are called by Christ to “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20. We can only do this if we truly understand what the scriptures are saying and can present it to anyone who asks us ‘why’ regarding our beliefs.
William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries.