Verse: 1 Peter 3:13-14 (NIV)
13 Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? 14 But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear their threats; do not be frightened.”

After reading these verses and talking with the Lord, He reminded me that following Jesus is certainly an amazing journey. He often leads me on paths in life that I would not have thought to take or that I could not (or would not) take on my own. It is amazing and refreshing to see how He has changed my desires as I have gotten to know Him better. As Peter says in these verses, I have seen that as I follow Jesus, I become more and more “eager to do good”.

In preparing these thoughts, I looked at a few other translations of verse 13. The New King James Version (NKJV) uses the words “followers of what is good”. Well, Jesus certainly is good! I am reminded that without the decision and practice of following Jesus, I definitely would not have an attitude of being “eager to do good”. Honestly, without Jesus, I am grumpy, lazy, and selfish (and fearful!). Not, good. Not at all. Haha!

Thankfully, we are all learning that each day, as we follow Jesus, He gives us an amazing strength that we would not have on our own. In that strength, when we face threats from life or from others, we do not have to hold onto fear. Peter reminds us of that in verse 14. I could be wrong, but, I personally do not think this means we will not ever fear in the first place. Rather (as I have experienced), through following Jesus, we do not have to stay in that place of fear. He leads us out of fear, into His strength.

We may suffer harm for following Jesus, as Peter points out. Again, honestly, that sounds scary to me. However, counter to what we might naturally think, the truth is that there is a blessing available to us in that hurt. We can actually grow closer to knowing Jesus. In the same way that He suffered hurt, yet chose to love God our Father and share the Father’s love with others through the pain, we can do the same. Again, personally, I think that it is okay to acknowledge the hurt as something that is real and not good. Yet, when we talk through the hurt with Him, Jesus miraculously changes us and bring us through those experiences in a way that we would never expect.

Following Jesus, as Peter writes earlier in this chapter, we start to change and become different than others around us. As we live our lives with Jesus, being eager to do good, He makes us stronger and helps us deal with our fear and deal with our suffering. Because we know Jesus, we handle challenges and live life differently than our human nature would guide us. In this case, through the strength that we have in Jesus, the hurt, the threats from others or the things that we are afraid of do not have to rule over us. Instead, we have a place of confidence and strength in Jesus and his love. 

Father, please help us as we follow your wonderful Son, Jesus. Help us not to be afraid of the challenges that life or others in this world might bring our way. Help us to focus on the goodness of Jesus. Please help us to be eager to do good, like you are. Through your Holy Spirit, please strengthen and encourage us in these days. Amen.

Author: Chris Fraser