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What Would I Say?

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If someone asks about your hope as a believer, always be ready to explain it. (1 Peter 3:15 NLT)

I paced in the hotel room unable to sleep. My thoughts wrestled with the job interview scheduled for the next morning. Accepting an offer would require moving across the country away from family and friends. But it was also a great opportunity. I was scared but torn. 

With each passing hour, anxiety settled deeper in my heart. As a writer, I prefer time to think through my thoughts and craft a polished response. But job interviews required thinking—and answering—on my feet. Panic only jumbled my words. What would I say?

Fear and uncertainty seem to become most alive in the darkest hours of the night. I’m certain the apostle Peter felt both the night Jesus was arrested. One of their own had betrayed their Lord. As soldiers led Him to the high priest, Peter followed as far as he could go. Then all he could do was wait for the verdict.

As Peter stood outside in the cold, he warmed himself by a nearby fire next to servants and other officials. I can only imagine the questions that went through his mind during those anxious moments. What was happening? Would Jesus be prosecuted? What did that mean for him and the other disciples? 

In that dark moment came the first challenge: “You aren’t one of his disciples, are you?” Peter responded quickly: “No” (see John 18:17). Perhaps Peter didn’t have time to think about his answer. But then, he was challenged again and again. Certainly, by the third question, Peter had time to rethink his response, but he continued to deny knowing Jesus. Then, he heard a sound that struck his very soul—a rooster crowing.   

Every time I read about Peter’s denial of Christ, a cold sweat drips down my back. How would I respond? Would I deny Christ if persecution seemed imminent? 

As believers, we long to always be ready to explain the hope that we have. But Peter was one of Jesus’ closest followers. Earlier that same evening, Jesus had warned Peter that a trial was coming: “Before the rooster crows tomorrow morning, you will deny three times that you even know me” (John 13:38). But Peter didn’t believe Him. He would never deny Jesus! But he did.

That strikes fear in the core of my spirit. If Peter could stumble and fall like this, would I? And Jesus promised us that we would have something that Peter did not have to help us face those dark nights of uncertainty—the Holy Spirit. 

“And when you are brought to trial in the synagogues and before rulers and authorities, don’t worry about how to defend yourself or what to say, for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what needs to be said.” (Luke 12:11-12)

As much as I worry, the Holy Spirit has never failed me when I’ve needed Him. In the hotel room that night, He calmed my spirit so I could sleep. And the next day, He gave me the words to say. I just needed to trust Him—for my answers and the direction of my career. 

Father—Thank You for giving us Your Holy Spirit. Help me to trust You to guide my words along with my steps. Empower me to speak them with confidence. Amen. 


Scripture is quoted from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

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About The Author

Carolyn Fraiser

Carolyn B. Fraiser is a Writer and Digital Content Producer with Operation Blessing. She joined the staff in 2022 and works from her home office in Brevard, North Carolina, where she also writes books for children and serves on the board of Bound for Glory camp, a Christian literacy camp for children. When she is not writing, which is rare, she enjoys reading, playing the piano, and hiking to local waterfalls with her husband.

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