Monday, November 16, 2015

1 Peter 3:14-15 -- On Happiness, Hope, and Answers

"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:"
1 Peter 3:14-15

There are a lot of terrifying things in the world, as well as a lot of people calling "evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness" (Isaiah 5:20).  It's a challenging time.  And yet, God reminds us that suffering for righteousness' sake is not necessarily a horrible thing.  It's what Christ did, and it means we are walking in his steps.  It is also much better than suffering for our sins (1 Peter 3:17).  Suffering because of righteousness by definition means we *are* righteous, and that is a great reason to rejoice, because we are so easily drawn to sin.
God reminds us that we don't need to be afraid of the terror around us.  Instead, we should sanctify God in our hearts and be always ready to meekly answer people who ask us why, of all the terrified people around us, we are filled with hope.
Happiness and hope might seem like incongruous choices in the midst of the tumult in the world, but with God's help we can always find the good.  The good in others, the good in the world around us, and the good in ourselves.  Let's let our lights shine (Matthew 5:16), and be examples of the believers (1 Timothy 4:12). Let's spread light and hope where there is despair and darkness, and not be afraid of the terror and the tumult.  God has all the answers, and with him, so can we.

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