The intro verse to this blog of Hope is: “…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…” (1 Peter 3:15)
Peter wrote his letter to offer hope and encouragement to fellow suffering believers during a time of great persecution under the Roman Emperor Nero. Peter suffered; he was persecuted. He was beaten, jailed, threatened, and eventually executed.
Time will tell if current generations of Christians will face sufferings and persecutions similar to the experiences of those first-century Christians. If we do, or even if our faith is strongly challenged by others, we should be reminded of what Peter spoke of in verse 14 of the same passage: “even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled.”
Verse 15 goes on to give important instructions for a godly response in making a defense of the Hope in us…“yet do it with gentleness and respect.”
The hope that we have in Christ should be evident enough to others that we are asked about it. Then when we are asked, we should be prepared to answer gently and respectfully. By doing so, our conscience will be kept clear, we will be seen to have good behavior in Christ, and any accusations made against us will be unfounded and will bring shame to our accuser.
Hope nugget (key verse of 1 Peter): “….so that the tested genuineness of your faith…may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” (1 Peter 1:7)