Thursday, January 27, 2000

1 Peter 3:13-15, 17

 "And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good?
But and if ye suffer for righteousness' sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled;
But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear
. . .
For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing."
1 Peter 3:13-15, 17

This is a cool scripture... but I always say that, don't I?  Hmm.  anyway... first of all... who can harm us?  we talked about this before... God is bigger than everybody else, so no need to fear the aliens. :)  If we are following God, trying to do what is right, we have no need to be fearful or terrified of anything.
Then, the big verse... be ready always to tell people the reason that you have hope.  I think the prerequisite for this is that we have to HAVE hope to start off with.  That probably comes a little from making sure that we are okay with God, and also remembering that God can handle anything, and will help us with the things we can't handle alone.  I think it is a cool form of missionary work actually ... to tell people why you have hope.  The world isn't a hopeful place a lot of times, and our lives can lose a lot of hope at times... so, seriously... how do we make it through the day?  What gives us the impetus to get out of bed in the morning?  To keep going when everything seems bad?  That is a serious question, one that I ask myself sometimes... probably too often.  And here, God is saying... keep me in your heart, which will help you have an answer to that question.
And then the last verse... :)  if we have to suffer, and sometimes in our final exam called life, we do have to... it's better to suffer for something good, and meaningful... then for something that ends up empty in the end... that leaves us empty.  Not that we are all going to run out and choose to suffer... but, as C. S. Lewis says... "as a boy I chose safety, as a man I choose suffering... the pain now is part of the happiness then." ... sometimes leaving our comfort zones is the only way to grow and become more than we are.

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