Why the Righteous suffer.

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

This is our Lord’s message to His beloved church at Smyrna. And it is also for us today (Rev.2 :11).

This is a church already experiencing some persecution. Satan already has attacked their finances.

” l know your works, tribulation and poverty, but you are rich.” (Vs. 9).

Now the Lord is telling them that more intense suffering was coming their way soon. Satan is about to launch and unleash another horrible, planned attack.

Jesus knows about it. And He is not going to prevent the attack. He does not tell these Believers to pray against the attack. It is a test, a trial, and He wants them to pass through it. He also does not tell them why they will have to go through this vicious attacks of Satan.

One thing, however, is certain – Jesus is in control. He has set the time frame of the trial of His Saints. He will not permit Satan to try them more than 10 days. He is going to be with them in the midst of this fiery furnace. They won’t be alone(Isaiah 43:2).

The Bible tells us to resist the evil one. How will they do this? They can’t pray it away because this is their Lord’s will for them now.

They have been taught how to always put on their spiritual armor. Now they are going into this spiritual battle. Satan is going to stir up people, troubles against them, throw some in prison, attack their health and even get some killed etc.

They are simply to endure, remain faithful and trust Him through it all. He tells them,

“Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. … Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life (Rev.2:10).

We can learn a few things from this, in this our days, when believers are being taught that sufferings should not be identified with a faithful follower of Christ.

  1. Christians do suffer in this life because God permits it. He permits some of Satan’s attacks against His people. Holy, righteous and godly people do and will suffer.
  2. Not all sufferings are necessarily a result of sin, weak faith, lack of faith or an act of God’sjudgement.
  3. God is in control. He determines the duration of our sufferings, not Satan.
  4. God asks us to endure and remain faithful to Him in our trials, even unto death, that is, even if it costs us our life or things precious to us.
  5. Our trials have expiration dates. It’s just for a season(1 Peter 1:6).
  6. We will not be tested beyond our Lord’s permission (Job. 1:12; 1 Cor. 10:13).
  7. We will not always know the reason for our sufferings on this side of eternity. We are to trust Him with our sufferings.
  8. We are not alone. Jesus is in the sufferings with us (Matt. 28;20, Hebrews 13:5,).
  9. He promises us a reward for our endurance and faithfulness in times of trials.
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