Our Scripture reading for today is Revelation 2:8-10.
Verse 10, "Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life."
Of all the churches mentioned in this part of Revelation, Smyrna does not receive a rebuke or correction from the Lord Jesus. It is clear that the people in Smyrna who identified with Jesus Christ suffered severe persecution. Many were put into prison and would eventually be killed for their faith. God allowed this testing for a purpose greater than we can try and imagine. He is sovereign and always does what is best for His children.
The church continues to be persecuted today. In North America, it is difficult for us to relate to the type of persecution in Smyrna and in many places in our world today. While we may never have the opportunity to be tested in the same way, we can seek to have the same heart as these dear believers. By God's grace, we can have a heart that is not interested in what the world has to offer. This type of heart will enable us to speak the truth boldly and speak the truth in love. Ephesians 4:15, "But speaking the truth in love, may may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:" Our actions will identify us as being a peculiar people for the glory of God! Titus 2:14, "Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works."