Now as they spoke to the people, the priests, the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees came upon them, being greatly disturbed that they taught the people and preached in Jesus the resurrection from the dead. And they laid hands on them, and put them in custody until the next day, for it was already evening. However, many of those who heard the word believed; and the number of the men came to be about five thousand. – Acts 4.1-4
While it might have looked like everything was rosy in the garden for the early church they had problems right from the very start. The preaching of Peter and John began to have an impact on the community so the Sadducees took them into custody.
They might have been tempted to think that this was all a mistake. Peter and John simply preached about the resurrection and off they went to jail. It didn't seem like much of a start did it?
But look what happened despite it all. 'However, many of those who heard believed, and the number of men cam to be about five thousand.'
This reminds me of the verse in Exodus that describes the new persecution of the Jews under the pharaoh who 'knew not Joseph.' The Bible tells us here that 'the more they afflicted them the more the multiplied and grew.'
Christians tend to fear and dread opposition. The Bible tells us that God’s people thrive under opposition and oppression.
Who knows what the next year will bring? I think we can be pretty certain that it is not going to get any easier for Christians. Instead of crying about it maybe we ought to just get out there, proclaim the glorious name of Christ, and see what God can do with His faithful people when they are opposed.