In 1 Peter 3:13-17 the Apostle teaches his readers eight timeless truths to remember in the midst of suffering. The first is:
We Are Protected by God
13And who is there to harm you if you prove zealous for what is good? (1 Peter 3:13, NASB)
As Christians, we are not immune to the challenges and crises of the world. Like everyone else, we are tempted to give in to our fears and make the wrong decisions. But, Peter reminds his readers that ultimately they are protected by God and no one can bring them everlasting harm. While suffering may come for a while in this life, their eternal destiny, and ours, is secure in Christ.
Clearly, man is mortal and may experience physical harm, pain and suffering; but, as Peter reminds us in 1:5 that, “We are protected by the power of God.” This statement also calls to mind two other encouraging passages of scripture: “If God is for us, who is against us?” (Romans 8:31) and “no one shall snatch them out of my hand” (John 10:28). The testimony of Scripture is consistent and true, God holds our eternal security in His hands and nothing can take it away.
These verses typify the hope Peter continually expresses throughout this letter. In First Peter, the Apostle encourages the suffering Christians of Asia Minor, and all of us today, to stand firm (5:12), be holy (1:15) and prove zealous for what is good (3:13). These exhortations are reminiscent of Moses’ encouragement to the children of Israel in his final days when he challenged them to “Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the Lord your God is the one who goes with you. He will not fail you or forsake you.” (Deuteronomy 31:6).
So, when trials and suffering come, and they will, let us not fear any man but hold fast to the hope we have in Christ Jesus and remember that we are protected by God. In the words of our Lord, 28“Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Matthew 10:28 (NASB).
See Hope for Suffering Christians to read more about the eight timeless truths Peter communicates to Christians in Asia Minor who are enduring suffering and persecution.