And who is he who will harm you if you become followers of what is good? But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you are blessed. “And do not be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled.” But sanctify the Lord God 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; having a good conscience, that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed. 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]
I go through so many seasons in life. Seasons of joy, seasons of discovery, seasons of renewal and sometimes even seasons of strong confidence. But there are other seasons that are a bit tougher to swallow…one of which is a season of ridicule or judgment based simply on what I believe and/or because of a path I’ve chosen to follow that others may not agree with.
There is so much in the human psyche that yearns for acceptance and praise from our peers…that, when what I believe is called into question, I so often acquiesce back to a safe zone of tolerability. This section of scripture reminds me that I will suffer hardship for what I believe, but when that happens…the truth should always outweigh my comfort. This shouldn’t really surprise me though since anything in the life that has any degree of importance…always comes with a cost…and always requires being fought for. In fact, it could very well be that the hardships I face based upon what I believe are there for the mere reason to remind me of importance of those beliefs.
I should not be fearful of these seasons of ridicule or the toll they sometimes take on my confidence…they should instead be the wake-up call catalyst to inspire me to press on. For I know the truth…and that truth should give me the confidence to take on the world.
For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit [v. 18]
“If I had a formula for bypassing trouble, I would not pass it round. Trouble creates a capacity to handle it. I don’t embrace trouble; that’s as bad as treating it as an enemy. But I do say meet it as a friend, for you’ll see a lot of it and had better be on speaking terms with it. “~Oliver Wendell Holmes