Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. 1 Peter 3:15
Outside: hopelessness. Inside: hope. Sitting inside in a warm, comfortable family room looking out at a snow-covered lawn with barren trees and a wind-chill factor below zero, one is aware that outside there are evils like homelessness (made all the worse by the cold), hunger, violence, abortion, immorality, opposition to Christianity, and a host of others. Outside: hopelessness.
But we also know God’s hope. A fallen world redeemed by the blood of the Lamb without blemish, new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, an inheritance that can never perish, spoil, or fade, an incorruptible Word that stands forever, status as a chosen people. Saint Peter’s words meant for our heart. Inside: hope.
And so Peter writes to us the words of our text. We Christians live differently from the world. We too suffer, sometimes struggle, and live in the midst of hopelessness. But we have a living hope which generates a smile, a caring touch, a vitality and energy that shows. We know Christ as our Savior. We rejoice in Word and sacrament. We treasure the fellowship of God’s people. And we eagerly anticipate eternal life in heaven.
All Peter asks – be ready to explain the hope inside. Know how to talk about your faith, your God, your hope. Tell the story of God’s faithfulness in your life. No fancy words needed. No major education needed. Use the Apostles’ Creed. Use John 3:16. Use your favorite hymn. Use your own words. Practice on your family and Christian friends at the supper table, in the coffee hour, at church. Outside: hopelessness. Inside: hope. Let God help you bring that hope from inside to outside.
PRAYER: Guide me, dear Lord, to share my knowledge of Christ as my Savior. Help me to share His love with those lost in hopelessness. Amen.
(Devotions from “My Daily Devotion” by Dr. Stephen J. Carter, copyright 1988, CPH. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be printed, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission of Concordia Publishing House. For ordering information, please contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit www.cph.org.)