Hurting for Good?: Don’t Be Frightened

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

Two of the most powerful motivators are anger and fear. We know instinctively that selfish anger can motivate us to do hurtful things. But when we are ruled by the fear of the wrong thing, that also motivates us — to NOT do right things, to NOT boldly walk the path God has called us to.

hurting_350Peter wrote these words to people who had good reason to be frightened. They all knew that following Jesus could lead directly to painful persecution. Peter said that was less likely if they were known for doing good. He didn’t say it wouldn’t happen anyway. Hard times will come to all of us. So how can he say, “Don’t be frightened.”?

When we organize our lives to avoid suffering at all costs — to dodge all the things that scare us — we make fear our god. We serve fear by letting it tell us how to live. Peter says, “You may suffer; you may not. Either way, you have a mission to serve the God who loves you. Don’t run from the line of fire if that’s where He calls you.”

Think: How many of your decisions are based on fear of what others might think? Or of the work that might be involved? Or of losing something you care about?

Pray: Ask God to make you a fearless follower of Jesus.

Do: In today’s passage, Peter quotes Isaiah 8. Read Isaiah 8:11-17.