The hope in you.

“but in your hearts regard Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you.”  1 Peter 3:15

I am ready.  It’s kind of like defensive driving (This is my dad talking)  “Okay Nikk, now if a deer jumps in front of you, what are you going to do?”  “If that car turns in front of you, what are you going to do?”  “If you hit a patch of black ice, what are you going to do?”  My Dad thinks it important to always be anticipating the potential when it comes to driving.  Paul thinks it important to practice defensive living.

The opportunities are there.  So often we miss them….  I think in large part because we think that this verse only applies to salvation.  It is not easy to meet people with a “here is my testimony”.  I certainly do not mean to discredit the necessity for understanding God’s initial working in us.  But, if all we have to present to the unbeliever on the street is a fill in the blank:  Before Jesus I was __________, then He __________, Now I am ________ – then perhaps there is not a lot of hope in us?  Allow me to elaborate.  I do not know when I was saved.  I only know that I am saved.  I know the presense of the Spirit, I know the conviction of the Spirit, and the joy of the Lord.  I know that God gives me hope, and a reason for living (soli Deo gloria!).  But this is not an easy conversation opener.  Allow me to share opportunities I have had recently, some of which I have taken, some of which I have botched up, and am hopefully learning from….

1.  “What a special cart-full!”  Some random, elderly woman stopped me, and my three busy children all piled in one cart at Walmart, to say this.  It was probably a year ago, and will stick with me for a lifetime. Funny, how little moments of blessings can be like that (make those opportunities yourself!)  What I did say was “Thanks” as I walked away with warm fuzzies.  What I could have said – “Thank you!  Isn’t God good?!?!  He has BLESSED me with these children!”  I chickened out – and I still do….

2.  I was Xboxing with a friend, and we got talking about me getting angry, and I told him I don’t really have a temper (some of you reading this may argue the point 🙂  – he said he’s waiting for the day I scream out …. well, it was taking the Lord’s name in vain…. I told him it never would happen.  I have never taken the Lord’s name in vain, and have no intentions of ever doing so…. Interestingly enough, he went on to say that he is out in California, where he is not the only one that believes in God…  We started the next round of Halo, and so my opportunity to continue the conversation was shot, but it was a start.  I was intrigued at the idea of someone trying to “relate” by saying they too “believe” in God.  I want to ask, believe for what purpose?  And, which God?  My God doesn’t like it when you use His name the way you have been….. 

3.  I went to a nursing home yesterday with my daughter.  I told the nurses I was there because my friend works there, and I thought I would come visit.  I chickened out, didn’t I?  I should have told them I was there, because of the hope that is in me.  Because God is good to me, and I wanted to bless the lives of people whose day is otherwise very bleak.  My daughter loved going (she just turned 2) and I am looking forward to going again.   I had opportunities there as well – some woman shaking her head at cold case files, caught up in the show, saying only in the U.S…. I could have talked about my thoughts on a fallen and depraved world, but merely agreed with her that it must be an American thing (I believe the show is Canadian, incidentally).

4.  My neigbour and I were talking about what we read, and I told her I read “mostly religious books.”  Like that clarifies things?  Buddhism? Islam?  Judaism?  The Occult?  I was vague, and I could have found a much better way to tell her I love John Piper.  And the Bible (not in that order, you get the idea – he’s just my current read)…. but, as we are just getting to know one another, I am trusting God for further opportunities. 

5.  I had a friend come for advice.  On a heavy matter.  I told her that I try, in situations such as hers, to do what I believe is the right thing to do, and trust God for the outcome.  She is not a believer, so this was an opportunity to say that “My hope is found in nothing less than Jesus blood and righteousness.”  I can do the right thing, because I believe God honors integrity.   

Let us always be prepared.  Whether it is prepared to share your conversion, and that initial drawing of the Holy Spirit, or whether it is the awesomeness of God in your daily life, and daily answers to prayer, we need to be anticipating these moments.  The next time someone says “How are you?”  You can be prepared with a God honoring answer.  The next time you make plans, you can say “Lord willing, I will…”  It is tough, but I think it gets easier, especially if you are prepared, with some rehearsed answers.  Let us try today, to leave people thinking on the hope that is in us….   



1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. susan
    Oct 18, 2007 @ 15:04:47

    hey girl. this is awesome, totally what i have been struggling with for- …. ever? yeah. i guess so!! i remember in the first few days of high school someone asking me “why are you so happy all the time!!??” and my less than satisfying answer was “i don’t know. i wouldn’t want to be grumpy all the time.” even as i said it, i knew what i SHOULD have told her. and i still do that- get nervous, don’t pay attention to what God is doing around me….etcetcetc. i pray for boldness right along with ya!!


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