1 Peter 3:15-17
But regard the Lord, the Christ, as holy in your hearts. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give a reason for the hope that is in you. But speak with gentleness and respect, while maintaining a clear conscience, so that those who attack your good way of life in Christ may be put to shame because they slandered you as evildoers. Indeed, it is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.
Dear Lord Jesus,
You gave us a heads up that we might just be persecuted, harassed, targeted, and troubled because we trust in you. When we look at your reaction to all that you went through, you willingly endured punishment, suffering, and the cross. Why? You went through all of that for us. So that we would have salvation and eternal life, people may hate us for trusting you, and they will bring challenges and troubles our way. Please forgive us when our focus turns to worry or anger instead of trusting in you and the certainty of heaven’s hope. People and life’s troubles can easily sidetrack us, but when we focus on you and heaven, it can give us the boost to get over the hump. It is never fun when someone intentionally targets us because we trust you—you know firsthand about being targeted for doing good. Lord be with us in these situations. If someone should then ask us, “How are you managing with all you are going through?” We can tell them about you, how you suffered and died for us and also for them. The junk of this life is only temporary; however, our heavenly home is permanent. Please give us the mindset to focus on what you have done for us. Strength us to go through suffering; then prepare us with the courage to always tell others about our hope in you. Thank you for being our example. Amen.
Pastor Roger Emmons
When you speak with gentleness and respect, the only accusation of others is being too nice. Think of them as a tool for building opportunities to tell about Jesus.