Revelation 2:8-11 (TPT) Christ’s Letter to Smyrna
8 Write the following to the messenger of the congregation in Smyrna.[modern day Turkey] For these are the words of the one who is the Beginning and the End, the one who became a corpse, but came back to life:
9 I am aware of all the painful difficulties you have passed through and your financial hardships, even though, in fact, you possess rich treasure. And I am fully aware of the slander [blasphemy] that has come against you from those who claim to be Jews but are really not, for they are a satanic congregation. 10 Do not yield to fear in the face of the suffering to come, but be aware of this: the devil [slanderer and accuser] is about to have some of you thrown into prison to test your faith. For ten days [symbol of completeness] you will have distress, but remain faithful to the day you die and I will give you the victor’s crown of life.[for ruling in divine life] 11 The one whose heart is open let him listen carefully to what the Spirit is presently saying to all the churches. The one who conquers will not be harmed by the second death. [hell]
The church at Smyrna was terribly persecuted by the Romans and the so-called Jews; these people suffered great hardship financially, emotionally, and physically. In fact, the name Smyrna comes from the word myrrh which is used as ointment for the suffering and dying. So, in the midst of this intense persecution, rather than complain, the people from the church in Smyrna chose to release a beautiful fragrance of worship before the Lord. They chose to turn their energy toward worship and exalting Christ.
When you are mistreated or suffer from false accusations or slander how do you handle it? Presently, many sons and daughters of God are suffering in some way in our culture; certainly accusations and slander abound in every direction. The enemy desires to exhaust our energy with negativity. My prayer for God’s family is when we experience such persecution, we will focus on exalting our vindicating King so our lives will release a beautiful fragrance of worship, too. In time, the Lord will deal with the Accuser.
Prayer: Lord, help me to remain faithful even in the midst of persecution or slander. I want my life to release a beautiful fragrance of worship before you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.