Whenever I come across a specific verse repeatedly in a variety of different situations, I just know it’s the Lord directing me to it.
This is just the case with 1 Peter 3:15…
“But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you…”
1 Peter 3:15
Let’s put aside the fact that I just finished an Apologetics course in my Master’s program, so of course, I spent a semester fully immersed in defending my faith.
And, we’ll ignore that I just finished a bible study with some of my close friends on the book of 1 Peter.
And, I’m not even talking about those glaring instances where this verse has repeatedly stared back at me from the pages of my Bible.
I’m talking about my everyday life over the last few weeks.
This verse has popped up in discussions, my daily verses, my drive to work on Friday, and in commentaries I’m reading on entirely unrelated topics.
It just seems to be appearing everywhere I look.
So, it got me to thinking…
Am I able to defend my faith and explain my source of hope?
I mean really explain my beliefs and my constant source of hope.
Could I do it? Could I actually speak from the heart to an unbeliever if they asked why I believe? Or if they questioned my beliefs?
Sure, I’m pursuing a graduate degree in Ministry, so you might think I could easily defend my faith. And, yes, I work in children’s ministry, so I spend countless hours talking to kids about their faith, their beliefs, their salvation and how they can answer the tough questions about where their hope lies and why.
But defending my faith and sharing where my hope lies is so much more than just reciting what I’ve learned in my Apologetics class, or reciting scripture.
It’s about speaking from the heart. It’s about telling my story and letting people see a very raw, vulnerable side of me; a side that shows who I am, what got me where I am and why all my hope is in Jesus. (Not to totally rip off lyrics from Crowder and Tauren Wells.)
A few weeks back during lesson time in the K4&5 youth class I asked the students why they love God.
Immediately hands shot up in the air with eager anticipation to explain all the awesome things God has done in their few short years on this earth. Answers ranged from because He gave me a new baby brother to because He made the rain go away and because I know I can ask Him for forgiveness when I’ve done something sinful, and He forgives me because He loves me.
Oh, how I wish us adult believers had that same zeal when faced with a question like, “Why do you love God?” How I wish we could just answer in a raw and honest way about how He saved us, gave us forgiveness we did not deserve and washed us clean.
But as adults, we guard our hurts, our scars, and our wrongdoings and we often answer with little passion. It isn’t that we don’t have that love and passion for our Lord and Savior it’s that we’ve become scared to shout from the rooftops about the never-ending, unconditional love He has poured out upon us.
We have measured and calculated responses always thinking that others want nothing but the facts. But more often than not they need the real story, the one that hurts to tell but in the end is such a beautiful story of mercy and forgiveness that it brings people to tears.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying there aren’t times when very real facts and figures need to be used and scripture needs to be pointed to, but many times people just want to hear it from your heart. They want your story. The story that is unique to you and your relationship with the one true Savior, Jesus Christ.
No one else can tell your story.
So, I’ve challenged myself, and I challenge you too, the next time someone questions your faith or asks, “Why do you love God?” answer from the heart.
Tell them your story even if they’re a stranger.
Your story may be the one that Christ uses to save them.
Your story may be the one that shows them what an awesome and merciful God we serve.