But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.
1 Peter 3:14-15
When I was in college one of the trends in Christian literature was around apologetics. These books helped to give a logical explanation to hard questions of faith and God, so that you could share this logical explanation with others. The books tended to have language like that of a debate team. Point and counter point, rebuttal, counter argument, with the end of goal providing a clear logical explanation of your faith. Often early in these books was reference to this verse, with a calling to all Christian to have substantial time and energy spend in being able to defend your faith in a logical way with others at any moment of time. Yet as I reflect on this verse now, I wonder if the verse is calling not just for a prepare speech on why faith makes logical sense, but something else from us.
The verse calls for us to be prepared to answer to give the reason for the hope you have. I began to reflect upon my faith in God, and the hope I have, and found that it is at times illogical. My hope in God does not rest upon circumstances, or feelings, because at times, my emotions and circumstances tell me that faith in God right now does not make much sense. A gifted person in debate could easily poke holes in my “argument” for faith in God, and hope in Him.
I believe that the reason for your hope can be less of a polished presentation from a gifted orator, but instead an authentic story of a journey. You have good days and bad days. Moments where you faith is strong, and moments where you question. You don’t have all the answers, you can’t explain away all the brokenness that is in the world we find ourselves. Maybe this is why the writer of the book of Hebrews says it this way
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
So what is your story? What is the reason for the hope you have? Share it with someone, and ask for theirs. There is a power in stories, that I believe 1 Peter is hinting at, but to tell our own story also encourage us stop and reflect on God’s work in our lives. So prepare yourself, not to win an debate about faith, but perhaps to share the reason for you hope in a world that is sometimes very dark.