“I know your afflictions and your poverty—yet you are rich!” – Revelation 2:9
Remember, Jesus is not oblivious to our pain and suffering. He KNOWS what we’re going through, and He knows what it feels like: “He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering…. He took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered Him stricken by God, smitten by Him, and … afflicted” (Isaiah 53:3-4). In Revelation 2:9, Jesus says to the Smyrna Christians, “I know your afflictions.” And He means it. He’s been in their shoes. He’s felt the crushing weight of persecution for the sake of the Gospel.
But Jesus isn’t as shallow as we are. In 2 Cor. 6:10, the Apostle Paul says, “[We are] sorrowful, yet always rejoicing, poor, yet making many rich, having nothing, and yet possessing everything.” How was it possible for Paul and his fellow missionaries to have nothing, yet possess everything? The short, sweet answer is: Because they had Jesus. Anyone who has Jesus is rich. Forgiveness, grace, love, eternal salvation, adoption into God’s family, peace, purpose and joy: All of these riches and so many others are ours in Christ. As far as material possessions go, the Smyrna Christians had nothing. But they actually had the greatest Mother Lode of treasure that money can’t buy. So, Jesus tells them in verse 9, “You … are … rich.”
you’ve been a follower of Christ for any length of time, you have probably
faced discrimination and persecution for your faith at one level or another.
And when it comes to endurance, the church at
Dane Davis is the pastor of Impact Christian Church in Victorville. His new book, “Buoyed Up: Jesus’ 8 Steps to an Unsinkable Life,” is available on Amazon in paperback, e-book and audiobook. Join us at Impact for Sunday services: in person at 9 a.m., or online at 10 a.m. on Facebook Live or YouTube. For more information, visit www.GreaterImpact.cc.