Persecution & Suffering: 43

In 1 Peter 3:13-17, Peter asks, “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 their threats; do not be frightened.’  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. 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.  For it is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.”

In this passage, Peter says we are always to look for opportunities to share the message of the Kingdom, and to do so in a gentle and respectful manner. We are to constantly model irreproachably good behavior. We are to be fearless in the face of threats and attacks. He notes that sometimes it is God’s will for us to suffer for doing what is right. When that happens, we are blessed.

I am reminded of David’s behavior toward King Saul. David fearlessly persisted in his exemplary behavior in general and toward Saul in particular. Saul continued to pursue David, seeking to kill him, but in the end, David was blessed. The difficulties were used to test and to prepare David to be greatly blessed and used by the Lord.