Sun 22 Jan
During 2016, it is estimated that 90,000 Christians were killed because of their faith and trust in Jesus Christ. To get the immensity of that, number it would be approximately half the number of residents in Wyndham. Another way of looking at it is if half your street was no longer there. But such persecution of Christians is nothing new. As we've been working our way through Peter's letter to Christians living in the first century, Peter has consistently reminded us that persecution is part of everyday living for the Christians. It is the norm for Christians to face hardship, suffering and persecution because of their faith in Jesus. Peter writes under the guidance of God, "Dear friends, do not be suprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happened to you" (Peter 4:12). In other words, don't be suprised you are facing persecution. Whether that persecution comes from Jewish authorities, or Roman authorities, don't be suprised! Living in the 21st Century, we too should heed God's words and not be suprised that even though we face persecution, we should not be suprised. Don't be suprised the next time when the media puts down the Christian faith or makes fun of those who follow Christ. Don't be suprised if the government enacts legislation that makes it hard for Chrstians to express the tenets of their faith without being thrown into gaol. With a world opposed to and hating Jesus, we should not be suprised when they hate us!