1 Peter 3:14-17
But and if you suffer for righteousness' sake, happy are you: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled;…
There were providential reasons why the early Christians should have been exposed to many trials of faith, purity, and patience. This reason is obvious to us - that thus opportunity was afforded for the administration of such fortifying and consolatory principles as are serviceable to the afflicted and the tempted in every age.
I. THE TRIALS AND SUFFERINGS CHRISTIANS SHOULD EXPECT. These, of course, are many and various; but it is instructive to notice what those are which are here singled out and placed in prominence, doubtless by the wisdom of the inspired apostle.
1. Christians may expect to suffer for well-doing. That is, they will have to endure injustice from the world, which will not appreciate their character and their efforts for its good.
2. They may expect to be evil spoken of, as if evil-doers. That is, they will have to endure calumny from those who will take pleasure in detracting from their merits, magnifying their faults, misrepresenting their motives, and traducing their life.
II. THE REFLECTIONS BY WHICH IN SUCH CASES CHRISTIANS MAY BE COMFORTED.
1. They should not forget that it is the will of God that his people should suffer, even wrongfully.
2. They should cherish the assurance that none can really harm them.
3. They should consider that their lot is compatible with happiness.
4. And they may even believe that some who have ill treated and slandered them may come to be ashamed of their sinful conduct.
III. THE PRACTICAL PRINCIPLES BY WHICH CHRISTIANS MAY IN SUCH CASES FORTIFY THEMSELVES.
1. Let them sanctify in their hearts Christ as Lord.
2. Let them be prepared with a reasonable account of their hope, the hope which sustains and cheers the afflicted follower of Christ.
3. Let them discard all fear of their sinful adversaries, and confront them with boldness and cheerfulness. - J.R.T.
Parallel VersesKJV: But and if ye suffer for righteousness' sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled;