History states that Nero the Emperor was burning Christians at the stake, dipping them in oil and lighting up his fields and his house for parties. So while they're drinking cocktails and eating cheese and crackers, they were hearing Christians burning at the stake. That breaks my heart, they're our Christian brothers and sisters.
Likewise with the Taliban several years, they took twelve of our Iranian Christian brothers and sisters hostage, and started to one by one to behead them. Do you know that the reports show that they were singing songs, that one lady had a Bible she ripped into pieces to give to her friends, and they said, "If we die tonight, may it be for your glory Jesus."
Now that is a strange thing for the world to hear, but it is the right response. But what gets us is the that Peter in 1 Peter, states "do not be surprised", or the don't think something strange. How is that possible not to think it strange (clue is our Lord and Saviour suffered for good).
You see here's an example. Say you and I are in the army and we're sent to the frontline, and then we come running back in tears to our commanding officer and we say, "They're shooting real bullets out there. They are going to hurt." And they are so loud when they whiz past our ear, what's going on? the officer may retort "You know you're in a war right?"
It's a funny story but it's like what some Christians are like when they face any type of persecution or in fact we should be suffering more at times. Why? It means that the enemy of this age isn't happy that we are being effective for Christ. If we played basketball, would you guard a guy/girl who was standing at half court looking at the crowd or chasing butterflies, No, but you would if they were attacking your goal, if they were pushing into the keyway, you would.
If we are Christians, we are pushing into the enemy's territory. If we're living our Christian faith so strongly, that we're causing waves in the spiritual realm like winning people to Christ, or being on the journey of faith, praising God in word and deed, I don't think he's going to like it, he's going attack us, and defend his court.
So why do some Christians think it strange?: We forget to tell disciples that there's a cost to pay, that things aren't going to be always rosy and sweet. Now if I say that and leave it at that, you might say well why be a Christian? You may say "There's this pain and this suffering and this agony, for doing good so why even bother."
Another little story, hypothetically. Say if I stab you in the leg with a knife, it's going to hurt, there's going to be some anguish and suffering, also it might scar you . How many of you would let me do that to you? Unless you're a sicko, hopefully nobody would want me to do that to them, right?
But if I said “look, I'm going to stab you with this, it's going to hurt, there's going to be anguish, there's going to be some pain and suffering, but, I'm going to give you all the wealth in the world and all of its trimmings, and I was a man of my word, how many of you would let me stab you with a pen for a short bit of pain?
This is what this is like. So as Christians we look at our difficult path, and go okay, that's pain, that's suffering, why should we do it? Look at the great rewards. We inherit the Kingdom of God, we are joint heirs with Christ, we have peace and harmony, we've built relationship with him forever, and that's a pretty awesome payoff isn't it for a short time of pain and suffering. So, don't think it's strange, rejoice and all those things