Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your hope as a believer, always be ready to explain it. But do this in a gentle and respectful way. Keep your conscience clear. Then if people speak against you, they will be ashamed when they see what a good life you live because you belong to Christ. [1 Peter 3:15-16 (NLT)]
I used to wonder how I would answer someone if they wanted to know the source of my hope. I then remembered the old joke about a little boy who asks his father where he came from. The dad hems and haws and struggles with a rather long-winded explanation of the birds and bees appropriate for a child his son’s age. When done, the little boy quizzically looks at his father and says, “I was just wondering since Billy says he’s from Baltimore.” As the father learned, sometimes the simplest answer is the best one. My hope comes from Jesus, from trusting God’s promises, and from my conviction that God’s plans for me are for good and not disaster. Moreover, if and when such a question arises, I’m sure the Holy Spirit will be there to put His words in my mouth.
In actuality, I’ve never had anyone ask about the source of my hope. I’ve had people ask where I purchased an outfit, who cuts my hair, what make of shoes I’m wearing, what kind of camera I use and the brand perfume I wear. I’ve been a walking advertisement for White House/Black Market, Therese the hairdresser, Earth Shoes, Canon, and Prada’s Infusion d’Iris. While I’ve had people compliment the little diamond cross I usually wear, no one has ever asked about my faith or why I wear that cross. Perhaps, instead of worrying about how I would answer a question about the source of my hope, I should be more concerned with why I’ve never been asked such a question. I wonder if it’s because, while my appearance (and even my scent) are noticeable, my faith, hope and love aren’t nearly so obvious.