now who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good? but even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. have no fear of them, nor be troubled, but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, [1 peter 3:13–15]

verse 13-14a is a promise from God through peter to you and i. this promise lines up with scripture in romans and matthew.
romans 8
[31] what then shall we say to these things? if God is for us, who can be against us?
matthew 5
[10] blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
the question is, do you believe this promise? do i believe it?
i find that i say i believe it in the morning, but all of the sudden i find myself unsure when one of my coworkers makes a comment about me… or when an unbelieving friend defames the gospel.
the stakes were higher physically for the apostles as they could be killed for their faith, and those stakes are still very real in parts of the world today. but, i don’t want to belittle the reality of the cost of following Jesus in america today.
the enemy is crafty (genesis 3:1 now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made). his goal is to turn as many away from Jesus as possible, and he will do whatever he has to in order to accomplish that goal. if it’s threaten your life, he’ll do it, and if it’s threaten your social standing, finances, or mental health, he’ll go after those things, too.
thankfully, verses 14b-15 give us an action step to help us with this promise.
how do we have no fear? we intentionally honor Christ the Lord as holy, and we intentionally prepare our defense for the hope that we have within us.
as we take those two steps over and over again, we’re reminded of why we have hope, the faithful work we’ve seen God do in our lives, and how worthy God is of not just our praise, but all of our lives.
so today, i pray that we stand firm against the schemes of the devil who is trying to get us to believe Jesus isn’t worth suffering for, and that we would stand on one more promise:
1 peter 5
[10] and after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.
~ john sandman