Seven Churches…Church #2

 The second church that John addressed in Revelation was the church at Smyrna:

9 I am aware of all the painful difficulties you have passed through and your financial hardships, even though, in fact, you possess rich treasure. And I am fully aware of the slander that has come against you from those who claim to be Jews but are really not, for they are a satanic congregation. 10 Do not yield to fear in the face of the suffering to come, but be aware of this: the devil is about to have some of you thrown into prison to test your faith. For ten days you will have distress, but remain faithful to the day you die and I will give you the victor’s crown of life. 11 The one whose heart is open let him listen carefully to what the Spirit is presently saying to all the churches. The one who conquers will not be harmed by the second death. (TPT)

Smyrna represents the suffering church and gives indication of what suffering we will go through as a believer. There is no doubt that just as joy can flood our soul, so can sorrow; just as exhilaration can come from accomplishments, so can suffering from disappointments. Indeed exhilaration and suffering ca go far beyond accomplishments or disappointments.

Jesus through John is warning the church at Smyrna that not only have they already gone through hardships and pain, but there would be more to come. He does not admonish them for failures weaknesses, rather He speaks strength into them, confident that they can stand in the face of the adversity to come. His words reminds them only of the victor’s crown. How could Jesus do this? Even though He is now reigning King of Kings, He lived as a suffering Savior:

14 So then, we must cling in faith to all we know to be true. For we have a magnificent King-Priest, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who rose into the heavenly realm for us, and now sympathizes with us in our frailty. 15 He understands humanity, for as a Man, our magnificent King-Priest was tempted in every way just as we are, and conquered sin. 16 So now we come freely and boldly to where love is enthroned, to receive mercy’s kiss and discover the grace we urgently need to strengthen us in our time of weakness. Hebrews 4:14-16 (TPT)

Jesus was the first partaker of what the church at Smyrna was going through and what we as believers will go through in our lifetime. Yet, He did not remain in a place of pain, and neither will we. If we can stand amidst the temptations, the suffering, the lonely and painful days, we will receive the victor’s crown. Be encouraged today, no matter how difficult the day, trouble don’t last always. That hallway you’re in now, between the beginning of your trial and the opening up of your victory is just that – a part of the journey, not the journey itself.

You can make it!! We can make it!

3 So consider carefully how Jesus faced such intense opposition from sinners who opposed their own souls,[a] so that you won’t become worn down and cave in under life’s pressures. 4 After all, you have not yet reached the point of sweating blood[b] in your opposition to sin. 5 And have you forgotten his encouraging words spoken to you as his children? He said,

"My child, don’t underestimate the value
of the discipline and training of the Lord God,
or get depressed when he has to correct you.
6 For the Lord’s training of your life
is the evidence of his faithful love.
And when he draws you to himself,
it proves you are his delightful child." Hebrews 12:3-6 )TPT)