Persecution ought never to strike us as strange...

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(Tim) Tonight, family devotions fell in 1Peter 4 and again we read that wonderful exhortation of verse twelve that is destined to become ever more precious to American believers in the coming years:

Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you...

Sharing the sufferings of Christ is a great privilege which should cause us to rejoice. But it rarely does. Instead, our normal response is to express shock and horror that things have come to this and to ask, "Whatever happened to our Christian nation?"

It seems clear that, rather than being surprised at persecution, we're to be surprised when it's absent. This is why our Lord warned us, "Beware when all men speak well of you" (Luke 6:26). Having a stellar reputation in this evil day is a good indication that we have not been faithful to the Lord and His Word...

But those who are faithful to the Lord and suffer for it have a wonderful word of comfort from Jesus:

said) "If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it
hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but
because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world,
because of this the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to
you, ‘A slave is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me,
they will also persecute you; if they kept My word, they will keep
yours also." (John 15:18-20)

Did the old plastic Bible promise boxes ever have this promise in them?

Yes, any persecutions we suffer in America today seem utterly banal
in the light of other places around the world and other times in church
history. But we must keep in mind that Jesus promised it's the
man who's faithful in little things who will be given larger