Focal Passage: 1 Peter 3:13-22
Fear can be crippling. Most counselors will point out that in order to trace the roots of our fears, and find their deeper meaning, we must look in two directions: outward to dangers and inward to our own anxieties. It’s not a stretch to say that Peter’s original readers wrestled with both external and internal fears as they endured suffering for their faith.
What will happen to us? Will I be able to remain steadfast? How should we battle fear?
According to Peter, we should counter fears with the promises of God. Ed Clowney puts it this way: Peter “… is assuring them that, under God’s care and blessing, no evil can befall them … God’s vindication and protection will preserve the heirs of his blessing.” How wonderful! Sure, there may be times where we are troubled, persecuted or must endure suffering – perhaps even for doing good. But in those times we can rest assured that we are ultimately secure in Christ.
Christ suffered the cross and shame so that we could be secure in God. If we can take the gospel and our identity in Christ to every fear – external and internal – the perfect love of God will destroy them. Moreover, Christ now sits at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities and powers having been subjected to Him. Christ reins. What then shall we fear? Ultimately fear and suffering in this life are temporary.
When set against the grand story of the world, the severity of present-day troubles is alleviated, though not denied. We can bring our fears in perspective and rest when we consider that Christ has taken care of our deepest needs and that His Spirit ministers to us in our time of trouble.
For this reason we are able to lift our voices and proclaim “… no guilt in life, no fear in death. This is the power of Christ in me!”