1 Peter 3:15
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. (NIV)
Always be ready to give people the reason for your help. This is good and we should always have the readiness to share with people the hope we have in Jesus Christ. But what do we do when we have no hope to share? We are commanded here to be ready, but how do we get ready? It is not merely a willingness to share with people. If we share with people a hope that is not genuine, we are lukewarm. We can say Christ is our hope, but they will see the defeated spirit in us. We must get ready.
In Philippians, we are taught to control our thoughts and to think only what is pure and lovely and praiseworthy. Have you looked around though? As I am writing this, I just spent $73 to fill up a Nissan Altima. There is war in Ukraine. And these are on top of the regular everyday stress, trials, and unexpected tragedies. It’s not easy to think about what is pure and lovely when we are surrounded by the impure filth of our world. But God knew this. His command is not to ignore the excrement life smears everywhere. If we ignore what is happening in the world, how can we know how to pray?
The Lord is calling us rather to find what is pure and lovely, what is praiseworthy and excellent in all that is around us. When we go to the pumps right now, we must use the financial straits of the world right now to move us into God’s promises. He has promised He will supply all of our needs according to His riches in glory. With self-discipline given to us by the Spirit, we must focus our eyes on the fact that God’s promises are not dependent upon world politics. As we fill up with gas, we can be thankful we are driving our car, not living in it. The war is atrocious, but through it, the true nature of Russia’s godless government is being revealed which can help the rest of the world know how to deal with Russia.
The reality is that God is good and He is omnipresent. We live in this world, but we are not of it. We are citizens of a spiritual Kingdom that can only be seen by faith. But it is a real Kingdom and the omnipresent goodness of God is a fact. We need only to force our eyes to it. Then we will be ready to share a sincere hope.