Christians in the west have had an easy ride for the last couple of centuries, with freedom to practise their faith, meet together, read and teach the Bible and spread the good news of the gospel.
This is unusual compared with the experience of most Bible-believing Christians throughout history and worldwide today. But things could be changing. For how much longer can these freedoms be guaranteed?
Wise Christians understand that opposition and suffering are normal for the church and are prepared for anything. That's why Christians today need the message of 1 Peter a letter to first-century believers surrounded by trials and hostility.
Why does God let this happen? How can my faith survive? How should I treat those who cause me suffering? These questions and more are covered in five sessions full of practical application. Let's be prepared, so that our faith "may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honour when Jesus Christ is revealed" (1 Peter 1 v 7).
Author:Tim Chester is involved in The Crowded House, a church planting initiative in Sheffield, UK. He was previously Research & Policy Director for Tearfund UK, and has been published widely on prayer, mission, social issues and theology. He is married to Helen and has two daughters.
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