1 Peter 3:14 NKJV But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you are blessed. “AND DO NOT BE AFRAID OF THEIR THREATS, NOR BE TROUBLED.”
1 Peter 3:14-17 NLT But even if you suffer for doing what is right, God will reward you for it. So don’t worry or be afraid of their threats. (15) Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain it. (16) But do this in a gentle and respectful way. Keep your conscience clear. Then if people speak against you, they will be ashamed when they see what a good life you live because you belong to Christ. (17) Remember, it is better to suffer for doing good, if that is what God wants, than to suffer for doing wrong!
The Apostle Peter didn’t candy coat anything here. Given the nature of Peter’s exhortation to Christians facing persecution, his direct nature makes sense. There was great opposition in both Mesopotamia, which was a great hub of devout Judaism at the time and where many scholars believe was where Peter based his ministry noting 1 Peter 5:13.
Here in 1 Peter 3:14 Peter notes that even when you do the right thing, you might suffer. This is still true today, as well as the fear that people have toward the real or perceived rejection or persecution they might face for doing the right thing and acting, living, and speaking as a Christian. Peter tells us not to fear the threats of persecution but to rise up and do what is right. He also tells us what we should do instead of fearing persecution. He writes:
- Worship Christ as LORD of your life. This means to live in a way that reflects that you really believe He is. Walking in a way that holds Him and His Word in a place of awe by giving it a place of reality in your life.
- Always be ready to explain your hope in Christ in a gentle and respectful way. Never back down or give pat answers about your faith. Instead take every opportunity to share why your faith is in Christ and what He has done for you. Note: Some Christians tend to do this very aggressively and even angrily. This is often because they are trying to overcompensate for the fear of rejection they have in their own strength, instead of allowing the reality of the love of God and their awe of Him lead the way. Apparently these folk lived in Peter’s day too. Therefore he admonishes us not to be jerks when we share our faith.
- Keep your conscience clear. Basically Peter said we should live rightly all the time and not have any places in our life we can be accused of wrong doing. Be a person of integrity.
When I am worshiping Christ as LORD of my life (living for Him), always ready to share my hope in Christ with the right heart, and living as a person of integrity, even if persecution comes I do not have to fear. Instead I can be blessed and confident I will be blessed and rewarded for it. So do what is right and have no fear, for God’s gonna’ make everything alright in the end. Thanks for the real talk, Peter.