A wonderful defense

1 Peter 3:14

But even if you should suffer for doing what is right, you are blessed. “Never be afraid of their threats, and never get upset. Instead, exalt the Messiah” as Lord in your lives. Always be prepared to give a defense to everyone who asks you to explain the hope you have. But do this gently and respectfully, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak evil of your good conduct in the Messiah will be ashamed of slandering you.

God never promised us a stress-free or easy life, on the contrary, He knows the faithful will be treated badly and persecuted because we live in a fallen world. However, those who keep the love of God and the word of God in their hearts will be rewarded in the end. We have the opportunity to be the remnant few that was spoken about in the Old Testament (Zephaniah 2:7). The only thing standing in our way is our perspective in our current hardships. 1 Peter 3:14 tells us that even when suffering for doing good, we will be blessed. The key is that the blessing comes after the Lord has given us the strength to endure our hardship. In this case, we are called to stand our ground and be prepared to defend our faith. This defense is not about getting angry or arguing but speaking sober-minded. We should use every minute of our defense to glorify Christ’s life, His crucifixion, and His resurrection. Then, explaining the transforming power of Jesus Christ in our life.

When I was medically separated from the Marine Corps, my family and I lost our house and then my wife was diagnosed with lupus and fibromyalgia. At first, I was asking God “why us.” We went to church and did the right things a Christian should be doing, but then I realized I did not fully give myself to God. It wasn’t until I figured out that fact that I learned what I lost was just material possessions. When my wife became ill, I was able to build a relationship with her again, where we were rocky and even speaking of divorce. However, through the hardships that we had to endure, we became best friends again. After all of our suffering and all that was lost, I realized that I was blessed for it all. It takes time for people to grasp this concept but when it sinks in it is a truly humbling experience. Our treasure is the love of God, and the love of our family. Our treasures are not the material possessions that we obtain while alive but life everlasting in Christ Jesus and how he transforms us from the inside out. Our hardships became the best thing that could have happened to us and it helps us with our defense for Christ.

You see, God tells us in His word that those who are always faithful will always be restored (Zephaniah 2: 7). No matter what we gain or lose in our life does not dictate our true treasures and blessings in Christ. Some people learn this lesson after losing everything like me but others do not have to. In the end, it all comes down to you and your perspectives in your current trails. No one can change how you think or perceive your circumstances. But I challenge you to see negative situations from a different perspective. Maybe, just maybe, God is allowing the bad to happen in your life so that you can have a wonderful defense in the future to share with others. Remember that God is always true to His word and He will restore the faithful! Have confidence in this and continue to carry your cross regardless of the condition you may be in.

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