1 Peter 3:13-18
13 Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? 14 But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear their threats[a]; do not be frightened.”[b]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. But do this with gentleness and respect, 16 keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. 17 For it is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil. 18 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit.
♦️Persecution has been a common experience in Christianity ever since the apostles first proclaimed the message of salvation. Even in places that have been blessed with a long period of peace, there is no guarantee how long that will continue.
♦️In Nigeria today, persecution of Christians is like a daily reoccurring phenomenon almost everywhere. Just yesterday, a Priest was kidnapped in Kaduna and some Christians were killed with impunity. Christians feel the sting of rejection and ridicule in a country termed secular.
♦️A country where her citizens die every day of bullets and hunger, and yet it donates huge amounts to a terrorist government/country. What a phenomenal act!
♦️Whatever form the harassment and embarrassment may take henceforth, Christians should all be prepared to suffer for Christ.
Peter wrote to a group of believers who were treated harshly because of their faith. His goal was to offer encouragement and a reminder for the persecuted to follow Christ’s example:
♦️ Though sinless, Christ suffered in our place to bring us to God. And while the crowd at the cross mocked Him, He never responded harshly. Instead, He patiently suffered in full submission to His Father,
entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously (1 Peter 2:21-23).
♦️ Without this perspective, we could quickly descend into self-pity or angry resentment when we are mistreated and persecuted by Satan through his ordained agents.
♦️But Peter reminds us that we are blessed when we suffer for the sake of righteousness. Not only will we receive a reward in heaven (Matthew 5:11-12), we will also have an opportunity to gently and reverently be a witness for Christ.
♦️A wise response to persecution flows from an accurate understanding of God’s ways.
♦️ Unfair suffering is sometimes a part of His will for us, just as it was for Christ. But we can trust our Father, knowing that He can work out every situation for our good and His glory.
♦️Do not forget that His eyes are on us, and He is our strength. Very soon, in fact, sooner than we think, Christ will come for His own. God bless you.
Shalom and Maranatha!