1 Peter 3:15 says "But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:". The theme of 1 Peter deals particularly with 'suffering' (that's the "S" word none of us like to hear). But, when we suffer, one of our tendencies is to become so self focused that we forget the opportunity we have to be a light to others.
Peter says that every man will ask you of a reason for the hope that you have in you. When we suffer as believers, to an unbeliever the fact that you have hope is rather perplexing and can be disturbing. But it is also a great occasion to allow the Gospel to go forth to others. The Greek word for "answer" in this verse is the word 'apologia', from where we derive our english word apologetics. It means a defense or a speech in defense. And from here the concept of defending the faith finds one of it's support texts.
To defend the faith, you don't have to be defensive (or offensive for that matter). You simply have to have a reason for your hope. What is your reason for hope? Jesus is alive. He lives in you and will take you to Himself one day. These light afflictions are but for a moment, Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 4. No one FEELS like these afflictions are but for a moment when going through them, and no one specifically enjoys pain. But, knowing that it is temporary makes it easier to ednure.
So the next time you're going through a trial, remember to look for opportunities for the light of the Gospel to go forth that you may have otherwise missed. And the next time I'm in one, feel free to send me the link to my own blog, so I can ask myself 'why did you have to write that' as I make the decision to be a doer of the word and not a hearer only, in the midst of any temporary moments of displeasure that lead to a far more exceeding and eteral weight of glory.