“Now who is going to harm you if you are enthusiastic for what is good? But even if you should suffer because of righteousness, blessed are you. Do not be afraid or terrified with fear of them, but hold Christ in your hearts. Always be prepared to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope, but do so with gentleness and reverence...” 1 Peter 3:13-16
A woman who I journeyed with this year made a decision to put Christ in the center of her life. I spent a long time with her, discussing with her and helping her to finally see that Christ takes nothing away but instead has come so she can “have life and have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10) One of the issues that came up was that she was afraid of religious persecution within her social and work circles because she has seen other people of faith be discriminated against.
This passage will always give me strength and hope. I will not always be strong and perfect before others, especially those who are critical, but I pray that I can keep Christ in my heart so that I can remain steadfast.