Today, I want to continue with the letter sent to the church in Smyrna and my text is Revelation 2:8-9 where we see, “And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write; These things saith the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive; I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan.” (KJV) From these verses, I want to see how the Lord brought “Sympathy in Suffering.” Notice how the Lord opens verse 9 with His consolation seen in the words “I KNOW.” The Lord knew their every heartache, every burden, every pain and every tear. Child of God, He knows where you’re at! He knows what is hurting you and making you fearful and fretful! There is consolation is just knowing that our Savior KNOWS what we are going through.
Also from verse 9, the Lord continues with a commendation as He declares, “I know thy works!” Even as they were hurting, they were still serving their Savior! They had not allowed bitterness to take root and turn them away from serving. If history is accurate, this little church family had some tremendous works. The population of Smyrna was probably between 200,000 and 250,000 people with 1/3 of the populace being born-again believers in Christ. This means that this hurting group of believers in the Smyrna church was responsible for leading 65,000 to 80,000 people to the Lord in evangelizing their communities! They were burdened to pray, to preach God’s Word, to take the gospel to their neighbors and then disciple new converts in the right ways of God! Finally from verse 9, the Lord considers what they were going through. He said, “I know thy…tribulation and poverty, but thou art rich…” which means, “I know the pressure you’re under! I know you’re depending on me for everything!” The Lord did not let them down and He ain’t gonna start now by letting us down either. Stay in love with the Savior and serve Him to the best of your ability because “It will be worth it all, when we see JESUS!”
Pastor Joey Durham