Monday Message by Drew Hanson, Family Ministries Director
13 Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? 14 But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear their threats; do not be frightened.” 15 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, 16 keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. - 1 Peter 3:13-16
The Good News of Hope
Peter writes, “Always be ready to make your defense to anyone who demands from you an accounting for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and reverence.” We are called to know the hope within us and to be ready to defend it. Where does your hope lie? This is the first question to ask. In his first letter to Timothy, Paul opens with, “Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the command of God our Savior and of Christ Jesus our hope.” If your hope comes from anything apart from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, I invite you to pray and discern why that might be.
During this election cycle, I saw hope and hopelessness based on proposed policies and on politicians. If our hope begins and ends with human institutions like American politics, we will be let down. If our hope begins and ends with God, we will never be let down. But, if our hope is in the Lord, we are challenged to live a life that testifies to our hope in God. In my life, when I see injustice, I have hope that God’s justice will someday have the final say. While God’s justice will never come fully through me, I am called as a disciple to seek and work for God’s justice rather than sit idly by and wait. At the very least, our work for justice is a foretaste of God’s coming Kingdom. So, I challenge you, as a brother or sister united in the Good News of Hope promised to us by Jesus Christ, to know the hope within you through prayer and Scripture, and to work toward the ability to articulate and defend that hope. This way, we as Christians can speak truth and righteousness into any situation we are placed – political or otherwise. But remember to always do so with gentleness and reverence.
Holy God, thank you for the hope that you provide us. Thank you for the hope of salvation, the hope of wholeness, the hope of holiness, the hope of unity with you and with others. With the election now in the rearview mirror, teach us all how to respond with hope. We ask that you would give us strength to fight for your justice, to be your peacemakers, and to spread your love. Our hope is in you, our Creator and Redeemer, forever and ever. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.