Christians are persecuted for practicing righteousness as taught to them by Jesus Christ. They are hated, threatened, or murdered for speaking against social evils such as fraud, bribery, corruption, immorality, examination malpractices, cultism, discrimination/partiality, and tribalism. Those who do not like Christians because of their (Christians) faith persecute them by destroying their properties – churches, homes, etc. maiming them; denying them the right to build their churches in the country; denying them job opportunities’ harassing them or killing them at the slightest opportunity.
Persecution involves suffering and death. Christians may be tempted to condone evil or refuse to condemn it. Peter and James saw this problem among the members of the early church and advised Christians not to encourage a negative attitude to persecution. We should encourage a positive attitude toward persecution. Persecution in whatever form is a trial of our faith. We cannot say we are true Christians or we are righteous until our faith is tested. In a situation, we are likely to be persecuted for condemning evil. We pass the test by condemning evil in our societies, and then we know that we are growing and developing in faith, as mature and responsible Christians.
Read 1Peter 3:13-171 Peter 1:6-9, 10)
Christians could face persecution as a test of their faith. What he believed was needed to test the genuineness and authenticity of their faith. Persecution is like fire to refine them just as gold is refined, to the praise, honor, and glory of God on the last day.
Peter advised that amid such persecution, Christians should maintain a positive attitude by rejoicing. According to Peter, the prophets of old who predicted the suffering of Jesus Christ also spoke of his glory that was to come after a period of suffering. As obedient children of God, they should not conform to the sinful ways of the past but should live holy lives, as God Himself is holy.
Peter said that Christians under persecution should maintain a positive attitude in sharing in the suffering of Christ. Therefore, they should regard suffering in the name of Christ as a blessing and cause for joy, the Spirit of God rests upon them. However, Christians should not suffer murderers, thieves, or wrongdoers. Nevertheless, if a Christian under persecution suffers, he should not be ashamed. Instead, he should glorify God while suffering for Christ’s sake. For, in no time, judgment would begin: believers. If the righteous man would narrowly escapement, where would the sinner be? Therefore, let those who suffer persecution according to God’s will or innocently, continue to do what is right and entrust their souls to a faithful Creator.
The Christian and Persecution: What will be an attitude? (James 1:12-15)
James advised that Christians should have a positive attitude towards persecution. This should be so because if they can endure suffering and persecution, they will receive the reward of the crown of life which God has promised those who love Him. When we are tempted, we should have more desire for God.
The Significance of Christian Attitude to Persecution
Peter and James understand in their teachings the fact that persecution is part of the Christian life. The Christians, therefore, should see persecution as a positive way of testing our faith. Consequently, we must not run away from persecution, but face it with courage. We should not give up our faith in times of persecution, but to remain loyal Christ to the very end of our lives. We should not be afraid to condemn all that is wrong in society because of the fear of persecution.
Hence, we should be bold enough to speak courageously against examination malpractices, secret societies(cultism) partiality, tribalism, fraud, and all forms of injustice of injustice. As Christians, Peter and James are saying to us that Christians are victims of persecution rather than instruments of wrongdoing.
Religious Guidance and Counselling
God wants you to behave as good Christians among non-Christians: It is not easy for us Christians to live as good Christians among non-Christians. Sometimes our behavior is good and sometimes it is bad. The problem is that as human beings we are not perfect. Only Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith is perfect. It is only God who has the power to make us perfect as good Christians living among non-Christians. Therefore, you should call upon Jesus to help you live as good Christians among non-Christians.
God desires a positive attitude to persecution
As Christians, we are likely to be persecuted for doing the right thing speaking the truth, or condemning all that is wrong in the home, school, and society. When that happens we should not be discouraged because it is a test of our faith as true Christians.
You should continue to pray to Jesus to help you to be positive in your attitude to persecution and share in his suffering for he was persecuted for the sake of righteousness.
As a Christian, you must learn to pray to Jesus to help you live as the chosen race among non-Christians. It is difficult for Christians to live as the salt of the earth and the light of the world among non-Christians. As a Christian, you must learn to ask Jesus to help you live as the salt of the earth and the light of the world among non-Christians. Persecution is a trial of our faith as Christians. As a Christian, you must learn to be positive in your attitude to persecution and withstand the trial of your faith. God has promised a crown of life as a reward to all Christians who endure persecution. You must learn to pray to Jesus to help you endure persecution to be rewarded with a crown of life by God. Christians are the chosen race, who are helped by the Holy Spirit to comport themselves well among non-Christians by submitting to the civil authorities, doing what is right and pulling to shame the ignorance offoolish men, not using, their freedom as an excuse to do what is wrong, being loyal servants to their masters, following the good example of Jesus as the suffering servant, Christians are the ‘salt of the earth’ and the ‘light of the world’who should lead exemplary lives among non-Christians by, preserving and improving the quality of life in the society according to the teachings of Jesus Christ, leading them to greater light in Christ by letting our light shine before them, God wants all of you to pray to Jesus to allow the Holy Spirit help you behave as good Christians among non-Christians, Persecution is suffering or being killed for what you stand for, Christians are likely to face persecution for standing up forJesus in doing what is right in God’s sight, According to Peter, persecution is, sharing in the suffering of Jesus, According to James, God will give the crown of life to all Christians who endure persecution and the wants all of you to pray to Jesus to help you maintain positive attitude to persecution so as to be rewarded with a crown of life in the eternity.