As we read the seven letters of Jesus to the churches in Asia Minor, there is a statement that Jesus makes which stands out. In five of the letters, Jesus says, “I know your works” (Revelation 2:2, 19; 3:1, 8, 15). To the church at Pergamum, He says, “I know where you dwell, where Satan’s throne is” (2:13). They were standing firm in the faith in spite of severe opposition.
There is another “I know” that Jesus writes to the church in Smyrna. “I know your tribulation and your poverty (but you are rich). But do not fear what you are about to suffer” (2:9-10). For a church that was suffering for being faithful to the Lord and His word, this was a great comfort. Not only did Jesus know their suffering and the difficult circumstances that related to their suffering, but He give them a fresh perspective of what they had. They may have been very poor materially, mainly due to being faithful, but as far as the Lord was concerned, they were rich.
One of the most up-lifting things any believer can do is review the riches they have in Christ. These have nothing to do with the riches of the world that will fade away to nothing at the final day. The riches in Christ are eternal and can never be taken away or diminished by suffering.
In addition to this, there is a great comfort in knowing that Jesus is familiar with our circumstances and says, “do not fear.” In fact, He knows more about what we are passing through than we do. We can trust Him to prepare us for what is yet ahead and supply His “sufficient grace” so we can endure for His glory! “Do not fear!”
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