Revelation 2:8–11 (ESV)
To the Church in Smyrna
8 “And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write: ‘The words of the first and the last, who died and came to life.
9 “ ‘I know your tribulation and your poverty (but you are rich) and the slander of those who say that they are Jews and are not, but are
a synagogue of Satan. 10 Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and for ten days you will have tribulation. Be
faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life. 11 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. The one who conquers will not be hurt by the second death.’
Jesus promises the Church at Smyrna the crown of eternal life if it would faithfully endure the persecution it was suffering. In many parts of the world, the Church is still undergoing persecutions
today. And then there are Christians who complain about being inconvenienced for their faith! In either case, what matters is the surpassing greatness of the crown that Jesus will bestow on those who remain true.
I pray: “ ‘Come unto Me, ye weary, And I will give you rest.’ O blessed voice of Jesus, Which comes to hearts oppressed! It tells of benediction, Of pardon, grace, and peace, Of joy that hath no ending,
Of love that cannot cease.” Amen. (LSB 684:1)
Edward A. Engelbrecht, The Lutheran Study Bible (St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House, 2009), 2202.