Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.
In the second letter to the seven churches, Jesus encourages the Christians in Smyrna, who were was facing persecution for their faith. Let’s focus on the words of Jesus and be encouraged as well.
- Do Not Fear: Jesus begins by addressing the fears that the church in Smyrna would face. Fear can cause a person to fight, flight or freeze. Jesus reminds us not to fear the trials and tribulations that come our way. He is with us and He is greater than any challenge we face.
- Testing and Tribulation: Jesus acknowledges that the church in Smyrna would experience severe suffering. Just as they faced opposition from the devil, we too encounter trials and hardships in our daily walk with Christ. However, in our times of testing, God refines our faith, strengthens our character, and deepens our dependence upon Him. Our struggles serve a bigger purpose in God’s plan for our lives.
- Be Faithful until Death: The central message of this verse is a call to be faithful, even if it cost us our lives. Jesus encourages the believers to remain committed to Him, regardless of the cost. This is a challenge for us today as well. We are called to hold fast to our faith and to remain faithful even in the midst of adversity, opposition, or persecution.
- The Crown of Life: In the midst of their suffering, Jesus offers the church in Smyrna a glorious promise: the crown of life. This crown is the eternal reward and the abundant life that awaits those who remain faithful until the end. It is a reminder that our temporary struggles are incomparable to the joy and fulfillment that await us in heaven. As we remain faithful, we can look forward to receiving the crown of life promised to all who love Him.
Regardless of the challenges you face, do not waver in your faith. God is with you in every trial, testing, and tribulation. As you remain faithful until death, God, who is Faithful and True, will reward you with the crown of life.
Lord, give me strength and courage to not fear the things that I often fear. Fill my heart with love and give me a sound mind. Thank You for being with me in every step I make. In Jesus’ name, amen.