“Dear friends, don’t be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you. Instead, be very glad—for these trials make you partners with Christ in his suffering, so that you will have the wonderful joy of seeing his glory when it is revealed to all the world.” 1 Peter 4:12-13
When the church began in Jerusalem, it looked on as a “sect” of the traditional Jewish faith. The first Christians were Jews, and they met in the temple precincts. The Roman government took no official action against the Christians since the Jewish religion was accepted and approved. But when it became clear that Christianity was not a “sect” of Judaism, Rome had to take action.
When the Roman government realized that the Christians were making changes in the world and many were being converted, they began to persecute the church. This was the reason for Peter’s letter. To encourage the Christians that God was in control and that they would have the victory in the end.
We see this today. As long as the church does not made waves and stays in its place, nobody really cares. Let the church start making changes and what happens? The world comes against the church. It’s not really the world; it is Satan. Satan has no problem when we stay in our buildings and don’t get out and show our light to the world. Just let us start reaching out to the lost and dark world and we see the persecution start. Be encouraged when you reach out to the world. God is in control.