Friday, January 20, 2012

Why do you have hope?

I stumbled across a verse in 1 Peter tonight that I feel goes along with my post about praying for conversations. 

1 Peter 3:15-16 (NIV)
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.   

I adore this verse.  In the five months I've been a college student, I've been mocked a few different times for what I believe, in my classes and in my dorm.  At times I've felt frustrated with the angry words thrown my way because of what I believe, but this verse explains what we are meant to do with such clarity.

I love the second sentence: Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.  For the hope that you have.  Hope.

One thing we have as followers of Christ that other religions do not is hopeOur faith is based on the Lord's grace, not on our own good works.  I've never heard of another religion that believes in salvation through grace rather than good deeds.  We understand how broken and sinful we are as human beings.  We certainly could never make it to heaven based on our works alone, yet we can feel confident of our salvation.  We are adopted and cherished children of God

Christ has given us hope.

People will see this hope you have--this unusual, beautiful, magnificent hope--and want to know why.  When you have a conversation with someone who is blowing you off or even laughing in your face, try your hardest to continue to speak with gentleness and respect.  Show them Christ's love through your words.

I was so encouraged by 1 Peter 3:15-16 tonight.  It brought me joy and comfort, and it reminded me of the hope Christ gives.  Let's continue to pray for the conversations we'll have this semester.  Through growing relationships, conversations, and the way we live our lives, we can show Christ to those around us.

You are a city on a hill.

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