We are Secure in Christ


 

I Peter 3:13-17:
Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. "Do not fear what they fear; do not be frightened." But in your hearts set apart 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. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. It is better, if it is God's will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.

When persecution comes to the believer, it is important to know how to respond. Genuine believers suffer all kinds of persecution: they were ridiculed and mocked, ignored and bypassed, isolated and cut off, abused and beaten, imprisoned and murdered. All Christians face some persecution at one time or another, all too varying degrees. But as Christians, we know that ultimately good will triumph over evil and that our God is just and kind and fair. What can we do with the injustices and unfairness’ in the meantime? How can we keep pressing on during those times when life “Just ain’t fair? Today we will learn from Peter’s words to the suffering and persecuted first-century Christians.

In verse 12-15 of I Peter Chapter 3, Peter says this: “For the eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, and His ears attend to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil. And who is he that will harm you, if you be followers of that which is good? Even if you do have to suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. Have no fear of them, do not be troubled, but in your hearts give Christ a unique place.” It is evident that Peter is speaking from his knowledge of the Old Testament, although he does not actually quote them. The first sentence is a reminiscence of Isaiah 50:9: “Behold, the Lord God helps me; who will declare me guilty?” Again, when Peter is talking about the banishing of fear, he is thinking of Isaiah 8:13: “But the Lord of hosts, Him you shall regard as holy; let Him be your fear, and let Him be your dread.” The principle that Peter is giving us is this: God misses nothing. He is looking out for us, He is listening to our prayers, and He is completely aware of the evil that is happening to us.

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