Today at Southbridge I preached on Revelation 2:8-11 the church in Smyrna. This is one of the two churches that does not receive a rebuke as they were being faithful to Jesus Christ even though their circumstances were difficult.
When things are difficult and we have been faithful we have a tendency to ask some tough questions. It is not that we think God owes us something, but it seems like if we are faithful, good things should happen. So, when bad things happen while we are being faithful we ask things like: Why this? Why me? Why now?
Jesus tells the believers in Smyrna that He “knows” their affliction (thlipsis) pressure, crushing pain. When Jesus says, He knows it is not merely head knowledge. Through His death and resurrection (see 2:8), He has a comprehensive knowledge of everything we will ever go through and more. He knows physical suffering, emotional suffering, and relational suffering.
This Sunday after preaching this passage I asked people who had heavy hearts to stand so we could have a special prayer time for them. There are a lot of people who are hurting. He knows, He has been there, He will walk through it with you regardless what you are going through.
Hebrews 4:14 14Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess.