Through a random series of thoughts, this verse came to mind:
but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect,
1 Peter 3:15
I memorized this verse in college and prayed many times that the Lord would open up similar opportunities to give an answer for my hope. I recall praying that my hope would be visible through my life and even just my countenance. He answered my prayer! I received a few opportunities to answer questions about my faith.
Today, I began to think on my life over the last few years and how it stands in light of that verse. In general, I haven’t done so well. My hope (and the Holy Spirit with it) have been quenched (1 Thes. 5:19). I have allowed life and its circumstances to eclipse my view of God and His work. Therefore, hope has not been so evident in my life. And the sad result of that is that others have not been driven to ask questions about my great hope.
But God is SO good! He allowed me to wallow in my despair for quite some time. Then, out of His abundant mercy and grace, He restored the joy of my salvation! I again recognize immense hope that I have in Him. I now make it my prayer again that He would allow that hope to shine through every part of my being, driving others to wonder and ask about it. And as long as I continue to throw myself on His mercy, I know that I will be prepared with the defense! He will put the words in my mouth, just as He supplied them for Jeremiah.
Then the LORD put out his hand and touched my mouth. And the LORD said to me,
“Behold, I have put my words in your mouth.
He is a gracious God and is worthy of all praise!