“I know your afflictions and your poverty–yet you are rich! I know about the slander of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan.” Revelation 2:9
John writes some words to the church in Smyrna that seem to contradict each other. He writes that Jesus said that He knows about their problems and poverty, yet He also says they are rich.
This church had been suffering some extreme persecution and slander. There were people who claimed to be Jews but were not. These people would then slander them and try to give them a bad name.
When a person is given a bad name it is difficult to do anything. No one wants to give him credit or hire him, because he is a “bad” person.
In churches today there are people who claim to be Christian. They know all the right words to say to appear to be Christian. Yet, they do not really live for Jesus. They will slander other believers. Often it is done in a way of saying that true believers are too close-minded, or are too legalistic. They will also point out any faults in a person very quickly to every person they see. Others will also promote living in ways that is against God’s Word.
These types of actions can hurt true believers and the church. It makes others look bad, even though they may be doing the right thing.
Jesus said that you are rich when this happens. Even though you may not have any money or credit, you are rich. You have something the world does not have and money cannot buy–it is life. You have eternal life.
The next verse says that to continue will get them the victor’s crown. A crown is usually made of gold and is of very high value. They were a lot richer than they thought.
You have this same wealth. You have life for all eternity in Jesus. When Jesus returns you will also receive a crown, if you are living for Him. Stay true to God and He will remain faithful to you. God is watching and knows what is happening to you right now. He will not let it get overlooked. Trust Him.
I pray today that God will strengthen you to stay true to Him; that you will not give in to the pressures of this world; that you will know how much God thinks of you; and that you will be His witness everywhere you go and in everything you do.