Summary: Perseverance is trusting God no matter how painful or difficult your situation is.When our faith it tested understand it produces perseverance. Let us look at the perseverance of the Church at Symrna.
Series – Revelation: Letter to the Church at Smyrna
Title – Perseverance
Scripture: Revelation 2:8-11
Introduction: Have you ever felt like you are losing your patience waiting for God’s promises in your life? Times you may feel nothing in your life seems to be coming near the promise. There is absolutely no change in your condition or problems. People are accusing you for nothing etc. The Bible says we Christians have to be people of perseverance. Perseverance is being patient while waiting for the promises of God. It keeps on believing, seeking, striving, and trusting God even when success takes longer than expected. Perseverance is trusting God no matter how painful or difficult your situation is. James 1:2-3 2Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. When our faith it tested understand it produces perseverance.
Today I want to speak to you on perseverance of the church at Smyrna and God’s promises for perseverance. I spoke about the letter to the church at Ephesus. Today I am going to speak about the letter to the church at Smyrna.
Read Revelation 2:8-11
Background of Smyrna: Smyrna is in present day Turkey, now called Izmir. It was a port city with big building and lots of trade. At John’s time it was a beautiful city with approximately 100000 residents. Smyrna was ruled by Roman Government and Caesar worship was very common.
What is Jesus telling to the church at Smyrna?
1. I know thy afflictions (Rev. 2:9). Affliction means persecution, tribulation etc. In Greek it means to crush, to apply heavy pressure upon. It has the same meaning of pressing fruits to obtain the juice or torture as a person is crushed under a giant boulder. Jesus is in other words telling them that he knows them intimately and he knows their problems. Christians at Smyrna were a minority. We have all gone through some trouble being a Christian but the church at Smyrna faced more persecution. Each year every citizen had to burn incense on the altar to the God of Caesar and say ‘Caesar is Lord.’ The Christians at Smyrna refused to practice Caesar worship because of which they faced severe persecution. The Christians were mocked, abused, and cursed. They lost their property and were put in jail, all because of their faith in Jesus. The church at Smyrna had persecution and trouble yet they persevered in their faith in Jesus. Jesus is commending them for their wonderful attitude in trials, perseverance.
2. I know your poverty (Rev. 2:9). The church at Smyrna was very poor. They had the worst possible state of poverty. Their material procession was taken away by persecution. Christians were excluded from their community by law. They could not sell or buy anything. They were not given jobs and could not do business because of their faith in Jesus. The believers were in poverty. Now, Jesus knew the financial difficulty they faced. Today, he knows our financial problems and struggles. He knows the condition of our businesses. He knows as a believer we lose up in business. Child of God when there is not enough cash for your basic needs like food, clothing, and fees for your children Jesus knows it. The church at Smyrna was poor yet they persevered. Let us learn to keep our faith in God in tough times.