Revelation 3:8-11

Ha!  I didn’t forget, I have just been delayed….

The second letter that the Apostle John was told to write is directed towards the saints in Smyrna.  This is actually a very encouraging letter… in some sense.  The Christians in Smyrna have been dealing with some difficult times.  They are under a lot of stress; they are in the process of persecution (or at the very least will be facing it very soon).  The words of the letter are encouraging in that it reminds them to remain faithful.  The letter tells them that some will be going to prison, some will suffer, some may even die (doesn’t sound too encouraging does it?).  But this comes because they are staying true to their faith in Jesus Christ.  The encouragement comes in the fact that this persecution will only last for a short amount of time.

John writes that this tribulation will only last for 10 days.  Somehow, that would help me get through the difficult times.  Knowing that there is only so long to endure.  There is a small amount of comfort in knowing that there will be a definite end to this tribulation.  Think about some of the difficult times in your life.  Knowing now what you didn’t know then certainly has a way of giving you a better perspective on the situation as a whole, doesn’t it?

Sure, there are a lot of times in life that we need to be far removed from a situation to really see what was going on, but there are other times when just barely being on the other side is enough.  The real grace is when we can see God in the midst of the difficult times and live in a sense of peace through the storms.  I heard this weekend that sometimes God calms the storms, and sometimes, he calms his child in the midst of the storm.  That is what He is doing in this letter to Smyrna – calming His children who are about to face a storm.  I just praise God knowing that there is nothing too big – even when it is difficult, I know that God is trustworthy.

The one who conquers will not be hurt by the second death – Rev. 2:11.