Read 1 Peter 3:13-18
“…and if you are asked about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain it.”
Do you remember the little boy in the movie “The Polar Express” – the one who tries to impress the other children with his knowledge about trains? He is such a know-it-all! This type of person usually can’t be told anything because they already know everything there is to know! They have an answer before you even ask!
I’d like to be like that, at certain times, wouldn’t you? When someone asks me to recall the name of the place I stayed on vacation three years ago, I hope I can recall the details. Or when asked about a sibling of a student in my class…their face pops up but I draw a blank on the name. Or when my kids ask me questions of which I wish I had the answers.
Where are my shoes? Where is my mask? What’s for supper today? Are we ever going to get a dog? These aren’t such serious questions that I need to ponder an answer; however, they can and do ask more thought-provoking questions such as:
Why do we have to move? Why did our pet die? Are God and Jesus the same? Why do we have to go to church?
While some of these questions can be exhausting to respond to daily, the deeper questions deserve a thought-out response. As Christ-followers, Peter tells us to each be prepared to respond to people who question our faith.
“And if you are asked about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain it.”
In other words, be ready to respond to the questions you might get from people who observe you. They may notice how you conduct yourself with kindness, gentleness, self-control, and joy when others around you do not. They may notice you have hope in a seemingly hopeless situation. These onlookers may desire to know how you do it. We don’t have to be a know-it-all, but we should be ready with an answer.
One way I have prepared myself to explain the hope I have because of Jesus in my life is to mark these verses in my Bible: Romans 3:23, Romans 6:23, John 3:3, John 14:6, Romans 10:9-11 and Revelation 3:20.
If a person is open to hearing what the Bible teaches about becoming a follower of Christ, these verses will help you lead that discussion. To help myself, I just remember Romans 3:23 as the beginning. This verse levels the playing field and reminds us that we all sin, we all mess up and need God’s forgiveness. On this page in my Bible, I wrote the next Scripture reference, so I know where to go next in my conversation with my friend. Where Romans 6:23 is found, I wrote the Scripture reference for the next verse and so on. This is a handy tool to use if you get a chance to share from the Bible why you have hope in Christ.
So often though, people are inspired by our own personal stories. They may have noticed your joy despite pain in your life, humility in the midst of acclaimed success, or gentleness in the face of adversity. Your personal story about how God has met you in the crossroads of life can help others find God in their crossroads. They will be able to relate to your story.
So be prepared.
Write it out.
Share your story with a spouse or trusted friend so you are prepared to share the hope you have in Christ!