13 And who is he who will harm you if you become followers of what is good? 14 But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you are blessed. “And do not be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled.”[c] 15 But sanctify the Lord God[d] in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear; 16 having a good conscience, that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed. 17 For it is better, if it is the will of God, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil. 1 Peter 3:13-17
Suffering is a real part of the Christian journey. As followers of Jesus Christ we have a target placed upon us by the enemy. Many times we will suffer even though we follow the leading of the Holy Spirit and do the right thing, we may still face suffering. But through it all the Lord is fulfilling His plans and purposes for our lives. The Lord works through our every circumstance and our eyes must stay fixed upon Jesus and His soon return.
There is blessing and high honor in suffering for the name of Jesus. And even if people should threaten our very lives we have nothing to fear. Our walk with the Lord is one of trust and faith. We believe what we cannot see and we believe in every circumstance that our Father will work all things together for our good.
We are called to always be ready to give a defense for the hope that we have. This is why it is so important for us to be in God’s word daily. As we daily study God’s word the Holy Spirit will transform our hearts and will fill us with all knowledge and understanding. In that moment in which we need an answer, it is the Holy Spirit who shall give us the words. We are called to answer in meekness and fear. This simply means that we are not to attack those who ask for an answer but in the love of Christ we are called to give an answer. Everything we do and say should be done in love. In all we do we must simply honor the Lord.
There will be those who defile our good conduct because we stand for Jesus Christ. But the way we live our lives can never be impacted by those who defame us and falsely accuse us. Even though they falsely accuse us, our right conduct in time will prove true. The darkness of the world cannot stop the light and the glory of God. In the end God always has His way and His righteousness and justice shall shine forth.
If it is God’s will for us to suffer according to His purposes then we must have the attitude that Jesus had in the Garden of Gethsemane and the cry of our heart must be “not my will, but thy will be done”. This Christian journey is one of submitting to God on a daily basis. We will face many trials in this life but the question is, will we trust God in all that we go through. In every place of suffering will we simply trust Him? We know that His grace is sufficient for all things and His strength made perfect in our weakness. This simply means that no matter what we face the Lord will lead and carry us through. Let our eyes be fixed upon Jesus the author and perfector of our faith.