“But in your hearts set apart 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,” (1 Peter 3:15, NIV84)
As I came upon this very familiar memory verse, I have to admit that I never really took note that it had the word “hope” in it. I saw the words “set apart” and “be prepared to give an answer” and “Do this with gentleness and respect.” But it hit me this morning that Peter is telling us that the entire motivation for our Christian witness is our HOPE! Peter is telling you and me that if we are properly living out our Christian life, our hope will become evident to people around us and they will ask us for the reason for our hope. Our hope is what attracts the world around us to Jesus. We have something they do not have, and they want to know why we have such a hope when we live in the same world they live in.
Given the fact that living out our hope-filled Christian lives will attract others to Jesus, we had better have a clear understanding of this hope. In a fallen and broken world, we have the certain hope that God has redeemed us through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. We have the certain hope that He lives in/with us every moment of our lives. We have the Holy Spirit residing within us. We have the Word of God to guide and to assure us continually. We know that there is more to life than living the days we have here on earth. We have the certain hope of eternal life spent in Heaven with God and all the saints who share in the same hope. Even on our toughest days, we know that God is with us, and He will see us through our time of suffering.
Our hope in Jesus should be evidently visible to the world around us. We should be like beacon lights guiding ships over trouble waters. The hope we have in Jesus Christ is reasonable and true. Jesus did live. He did die. He did promise to come back again. He did say that as long as we believe in Him we will have eternal life. Now that is a reason for hope! We have a solid hope to offer the hopeless who live among us.
Today, and every day, may we be ready to share our hope with anyone who asks us the reason for our hope. But first, let’s make sure that we are living in the hope we have in Jesus so that it may be visible to others.