1 Peter 2:12 – Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles, so that in the thing in which they slander you as evildoers, they may because of your good deeds, as they observe them, glorify God in the day of visitation.
Peter has an interesting approach to criticism and persecution. He has obviously been effected deeply by the reality of life beyond this world. His response smells of heaven. Peter says that we are to respond to our attackers in such a way that when the Lord comes near in visitation they will willingly yield their lives to the Lord. I wonder if Peter was thinking of Steven and Paul when he said this? Steven had no idea that Paul’s day of visitation was imminent when Paul led an attack on Steven that brought about Steven’s death. Steven was caught up in a vision of heaven at his death. He was doing exactly what Peter said, Steven prayed for the Lord to forgive His attackers even as he stepped into heaven. Not long after Steven’s death Paul had his visitation on the Damascus Road. I wonder if he thought of Steven as he yielded himself to the Lord? I doubt that Steven had any idea the way his testimony would change the world. You could say Steven’s response to persecution brought a visitation that changed everything. Here are some thoughts from the UBC.
“The promise of divine visitation appears constantly in the OT and suggests God’s intervention in support of his people in mercy and in judgment. Peter’s words may be taken as meaning that on that climactic day unbelievers will be won over by acknowledging the beauty of the Christians’ lives. The eyes of opponents will be opened to the rightness of the believers’ conduct and thus to the glory of the God whom Christians honor.”
We are surrounded every day with lost people drawing close to their day of visitation. The thing you may not realize, they are all watching you. I mean they are really watching you. This is how we win. Let the love of God fill you on a daily basis. Let this filling govern your life. Seeing Christ in you is the hope of the lost community. What causes us to respond properly in times of persecution? Of course its our own visitation that helps us to see what really matters in life.