“I know your works, tribulation, and poverty (but you are rich); and I know the blasphemy of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.
[Revelation 2:9-10 NKJV]
This letter is the first of only two, where there is nothing said against the church. Instead there is an encouragement that we do not fear any of those things which [we] are about to suffer. There is an honest realism to Scripture, which shows that our Heavenly Father is wholly in touch with us; understands our predicament and indeed says that this is all part of My creative plan for your life.
The second part of The Lord’s reassurance here is that He is well aware of the way that the Devil works in our lives that [we] may be tested. This brings the realisation and confirmation the the Devil is actually working to God’s eternal plan, whether he knows this or not. We must understand that the hardships and trials of life are the testing of our faith. This is perhaps the hardest truth to get to grips with.
Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ's sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy. If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified.
[1 Peter 4:12-14 NKJV]
Finally, we know that the tribulation will end — you will have tribulation ten days — the number ten represents God’s law (as in ten commandments) to show that He has put a legal constraint on any suffering — and there will be the victor’s crown of life, a life eternally with Him, as our reward. There can be no better outcome than this.
There is a path that no fowl knoweth
The vultures eye hath never seen
Where no thorn tree, nor thistle groweth
No hedge to hinder, completely clean
High on the mountain
Above earth’s stormy sphere
Above the heavens coral plain
It’s paved with gold
And precious stones so dear,
It leads to life, the highest gain
To walk this path there is a cross to bear
But in the end there is a crown to wear
A crown of life and love unheard before
When we shall pass o’er on the other shore.
"There Are Trials In Life" -- BLISS ZIMBABWE
OSWALD CHAMBERS — RUN TODAY’S RACE
Monday 31st August 2020
It does not matter where a man may get to in the way of tribulation or anguish, none of it can wedge in between and separate him from the love of God in Christ Jesus.
GEORGE and GILL STEWART