There is a story in the Old Testament of a king named Ahaz who made a very foolish decision. Rather than trusting in God to protect him from his enemies, he sought help from foreign nations. The Lord sent Isaiah the prophet to King Ahaz to tell him – “Honor God has as holy and fear Him instead of man. If you do, God will protect you.” (see Isaiah 8:13-14) In other words, “If you will humble yourself before God and make Him your refuge, He will take care of you.”
Whenever we are experiencing a time of difficulty, it is easy for us to focus more upon our problems than upon God who is able to help us with our problems. However, focusing upon our problems will never help us. It will only cause us to lose hope and to sink into despair.
Peter was concerned that some of his fellow believers might do the same. They were suffering great persecution and he knew that it would easy for them to become discouraged. Therefore, in effort to encourage them, Peter gave them these important words of instruction-
1 Peter 3:14… “Do not fear their threats; do not be frightened.” 15 But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have….
Rather than letting our problems cause us to become discouraged, we should use our problems as an opportunity to witness to our faith in God. Peter tells us that our faith should be so real that it will cause others to wonder and to ask us about it.
As I write these words I am reminded of an incident that happened to us a few years ago. A member of our family became very ill and there was a time when we seriously wondered if they would recover. But during that time of trouble, we sensed in our hearts that God was with us. At one point during our storm, God did something miraculous for us and before I knew it, I found myself proclaiming to the doctors and nurses who were present, “I don’t know whether or not you believe in God, but I can tell you that He is real!”
Peter encourages us to use our problems as an opportunity to express our faith.
“But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord.
Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone
who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have…”