Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Tuesday, September 1, 2015
“And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write; These things saith the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive; I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan. Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.” (Revelation 2:8–11).
While I would love to examine the details of the exact nature of the problems going on in Smyrna, it would be more efficient for us to consider some of the basic principles, then apply them, in the short devotional time we have today.
I don’t know whether you noticed this or not, but God did not rebuke the church of Smyrna for her works as He did the others. In fact, His word to her was that she, in contrast to the church in Laodicea was rich (towards God). This is an amazing commendation! The Eternal God, who knows all things had seen all of the trials His people endured, even at the hands of those who professed to be His people. He encouraged them to be faithful. For in staying true to their God through imprisonment, poverty, tribulations, persecution, even unto death, they would receive a crown of life when Jesus returns.
It is interesting that God told this church that their trials would continue for a certain period of time (probably from A.D. 303–313). There are times in our lives that we feel overwhelmed with trials. While it is difficult to believe at times depending upon the nature of our difficulties, trials cannot last forever. God has set bounds on how far the enemy can push us. As we go through test-after-test, God is strengthening our character to reflect the image of His dear Son. We are becoming rich toward God by faith, and one day we will receive our crown of life.
A Prayer for Your Hearts:
Lord, please make us rich toward you, no matter what trials come our way. In the name of Jesus I pray, amen.