1 Peter 3:13 – November 16, 2019

Now who is going to harm you if you are enthusiastic for what is good? 1 Peter 3:13 NABRE     

Peter in this letter to several communities is asking a valid question. If we are doing the work of God, who can harm us? If we are enthusiastic for doing good, who is going to harm us, literally who will do evil against us?  The implied answer is no one, which is contrary to the experience of the early church and even the church today. Peter acknowledges that Christians will in fact suffer harm for doing good. Peter in the next verse acknowledges this harm, “But even if you should suffer because of righteousness, blessed are you.” (1 Peter 3:14) But there is a deeper significance, who can harm us if we are doing God’s good work?  God can undo any hurt, heal any brokenness, so if we are doing good for God we can expect that God will take care of us. We see the same question or thought other places.  “See, the Lord GOD is my help; who will declare me guilty?” (Isaiah 50:9) Here we look at “declare guilt” as the same as doing harm. Paul says it in a way that might be more familiar to us, “What then shall we say to this? If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31) No lasting, eternal harm can come to us if we live in the proper reverence of God and always do good.

We recall Jesus saying “Blessed are the persecuted … ” (Matthew 5:10) Peter has a similar message, meaning, being harmed is impossible. We tend to work for ourselves, build security for ourselves, have extra finances, do whatever we can to feel safe and secure. But the only truly safe and secure place is under the wing of God. Without God anything can come along and zap our safety and security, so it is better to trust in God than in the resources of humans. (cf. Psalms 118:8)

Are you harmed doing good? Has God come to your rescue?

We tend to work for ourselves, build security for ourselves, have extra finances, do whatever we can to feel safe and secure. But the only truly safe and secure place is under the wing of God. Click To Tweet

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