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Harmed for Good


1 Peter 3.13-14a
Now who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good? But even if you should suffer for righteousness' sake, you will be blessed.

The answer to Peter’s question, Who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good?, is “only a fool” of which there are many in the world, then and now. That’s why Peter offered no guarantees about the pain any given day might bring. Life is not foolproof. Only one guarantee is bona fide and tamperproof: the Lord Jesus Christ walking with us through the trouble. Our enemies might hurt us, but they cannot harm us. Only we can harm ourselves if we fail to trust God. So no matter how challenging your day, God promises peace, comfort, and joy. As the apostle Paul reminds us in Romans 8.31, If God is for us, who can be against us? Trust in Him to protect you today, for He is always with you and He is always for you.

But even if you should suffer for righteousness' sake, you will be blessed.  Anybody can suffer for doing wrong, but Christians must learn to suffer for doing what is right. Of course, Jesus is the example for us to follow (see verse 18; 2.18–25). We witness not by making noise and fighting back but by showing gentleness and respect (see verse 15). A gentle witness can make a big difference in a violent world. Noted for his deep faith and gentle approach, Frances de Sales (Bishop of Geneva 1602-1622), poignantly reminds us that “Nothing is so strong as gentleness, and nothing so gentle as real strength.” May this be true of us day by day for Christ’s sake.

Pastor Jeff
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