But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear their threats; do not be frightened.” 1 Peter 3:14
The Apostle Peter writes to a gathering of early Christians who don’t have life easy. They’re undergoing significant struggles (1 Peter 4:12). And they aren’t the only Christians facing difficulties or struggles in the New Testament. The Apostle Paul seems to face persecution everywhere he goes in the book of Acts. The church in Jerusalem ends up scattered around the Mediterranean world because of this persecution. It could be easy for first-century Christians to look around and feel like they were losing. Like Christianity was losing.
Many express this sentiment today as well. They feel the church is losing in America. Polls around the western world seem to support the feeling as well. The percentage of those identifying as Christians decreases, while those identifying with no religion increases. The feeling of losing often causes one of two reactions: (1) running away to hide or (2) lashing out. But Peter calls the first-century Christians to something else, and it applies to us too. We’re called to have a cheerful confidence to enter the fray and a cheerful humility to lose well. Throughout this week, we’ll look at what this means for us.
IN YOUR CHAIR TIME TODAY
Reflect on whether you tend to run away to hide or lash out when you feel like Christianity is losing. It’s possible you run away to hide in one environment and lash out in another. Maybe you hide at work and lash out at your family or friends. Ask God to give you the strength to cheerfully enter the fray and a cheerful humility to lose well this week.
2023 SPIRITUAL PRACTICES
Join us all of 2023 developing a different spiritual practice each month. SPIRITUAL PRACTICES are intentional regular activities to deepen our relationship with God and mold us to be more like Jesus.
January is BIBLE READING. Keep track of our spiritual practices at beyondtheweekend.org/spiritualpractices.
SPIRITUAL PRACTICES TIP: If you miss a day, don’t beat yourself up. Just pick right back up where you left off. Give yourself grace and know God will meet you as you open his Word.
Download a printable PDF of the BTW week here.