Always be prepared to give an answer . . . for the hope that you have. 1 Peter 3:15
Last spring, the night before our lawn was to be aerated, a violent windstorm blew the seeds off our maple tree in one fell swoop. So when the aerating machine broke up the compacted soil by pulling small “cores” out of the ground, it planted hundreds of maple seeds in my yard. Just two short weeks later, I had the beginnings of a maple forest growing up through my lawn!
As I (frustratedly) surveyed the misplaced foliage, I was struck by the prolific abundance of new life a single tree had spawned. Each of the miniature trees became a picture for me of the new life in Christ that I—as merely one person—can share with others. We each will have countless opportunities to “give the reason for the hope that [we] have” (1 Peter 3:15) in the course of our lives.
When we “suffer for what is right” with the hope of Jesus (v. 14), it’s visible to those around us and might just become a point of curiosity to those who don’t yet know God personally. If we’re ready when they ask, then we may share the seed through which God brings forth new life. We don’t have to share it with everyone all at once—in some kind of spiritual windstorm. Rather, we gently and respectfully drop the seed of faith into a heart ready to receive it.
Who in your life is sharing or asking about the reason for your hope? What will you share with them?
Jesus, thank You for growing the seed of faith in my life. Help me to share the reason for my hope—You—with those who ask and may they grow in their love for You.
Learn more about sharing and defending your faith.
Peter’s first letter was primarily written to believers in Jesus who’d been scattered among the five provinces of Asia Minor (modern-day Turkey), no doubt because of the persecution waged against the church at Jerusalem (see 1:1–2). However, it’s clear that the churches addressed were a mix of Jews and gentiles. The Bible Knowledge Commentary offers this insight: “This epistle could be understood as a handbook written for ambassadors to a hostile foreign land. The author, knowing persecution would arise, carefully prescribed conduct designed to bring honor to the One they represented. The purpose then of 1 Peter was to encourage believers to face persecution so that the true grace of Jesus Christ would be evidenced in them (5:12).” One of Peter’s major themes is that when believers in Christ suffer for Him, they’re to focus on the eternal and not on temporal suffering (3:8–4:19).