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Day 25

Share Reasons for Your Hope

by René Schlaepfer

Read 1 Peter 3:13-17

Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. [1 Peter 3:15b–16]

This is one of my favorite verses in the Bible: Always be prepared to give a reason for your hope…

I love doing mental exercises — how would I explain my hope in Christ to that person?

For example, when I read a blog by someone who is obviously intensely secular or even anti-Christian, or when I drive past the Wiccan bookstore downtown, or when I ride my bike past the bar further down the street, I ask myself: If this blogger, or Wiccan, or partyer asked me to give the reasons for my hope, what would I say? How would I phrase it gently and respectfully, as Peter says, in ways they might relate to?

I’ve imagined starting with my childhood: “Losing my dad as a little kid made me long for a father. I finally found what I was looking for when I understood God as my Heavenly Father.” Or I imagine saying, “I was burned out by religion, until I saw it this way: You could spell religion ‘D-O’. Do. Do things. But you spell faith in Christ as ‘D-O-N-E’. He has done it; He has paid the price for my sins. That sets me free.” These little mental exercises have often turned into actual conversations… perhaps because I’ve been working out in my head what I might say. Of course the conversations never go exactly as I pretended. They are always more interesting than in my imagination, and require a lot of listening and sensitivity on my part so I can try to understand how to be respectful and reasonable to that specific person.

So let’s do what this verse tells us to do: Think of one person who is not a believer: a real person, like a friend or even a celebrity. Imagine he or she asks, “Why are you so hopeful?” In the interest of always being prepared, answer the questions at left as briefly and memorably as you can.

Question to Consider

Why am I hopeful? What difference has trust in Jesus made in my life?


Lord, help me to enjoy the exercise of always being prepared to share my hope with gentleness and respect. Please give me the opportunity this week to share my hope!