We are all familiar with the idea of a hero. We all have our "hero's" or people in our lives that we look up to. Have you ever thought about a hero in the reverse? What are you a hero for? Who are you a hero too? That is a tough question to ask yourself. If we really put our minds to it, what can we come up with that we are truly advocates for? We should be a hero for things in our lives that we believe in. Most of all, we should be a living hero for God. As Christian's and believers of Jesus Christ, we should be His biggest advocates. Can you say that you are truly an advocate for Jesus?
Revelation 2:8-11 CSB
"Write to the angel of the church in Smyrna: Thus says the First and the Last, the one who was dead and came to life: I know your affliction and poverty, but you are rich. I know the slander of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. Don’t be afraid of what you are about to suffer. Look, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison to test you, and you will experience affliction for ten days. Be faithful to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life. “Let anyone who has ears to hear listen to what the Spirit says to the churches. The one who conquers will never be harmed by the second death.
Sometimes all we really need is a little bit of encouragement. We have all had times where we have been down on ourselves, felt self-conscious, or weren't sure how to proceed in a situation. Personally, I can think of times where a little encouragement and sincerity has been able to completely change my mind set on something. What you see in Revelation chapter 2, is exactly that. God is giving encouragement to the church at Smyrna. They are going through some tough times, and those tough times are going to get worse, but God wants them to know that He is there for them and will be faithful to them.
I would think that that in the time, these would be tough things to hear. Can you imagine? "I know you are struggling now, and you are about to struggle even more." That would be pretty difficult to swallow in my book. However, if we really dig in here, what we find is that the church is being given an amazing promise. They are being told that through all of these hardships, God is with them.
Revelation 2:10 CSB
Don’t be afraid of what you are about to suffer. Look, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison to test you, and you will experience affliction for ten days. Be faithful to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life.
What we need to understand about the church at Smyrna is that they were under intense persecution. They were being heroes, standing up for God, and were severely persecuted for their actions. They were destitute. They had no money, they were being challenged, ridiculed for following God. Then, when they finally get a little encouragement from God, they find out that things are about to get worse before they get better. How do you think you would handle that type of news? Do you think you would be able to stand up and advocate for God even in the face of this type of persecution? It would be a difficult task for any of us.
It is so important that even when we are facing hardships, that we be faithful to God. We should always be advocating for Him as he is advocating for us. In verse 10 we see that people are about to suffer. They are about to be thrown into prison and will be rewarded if they are faithful. If you have never read the book of Revelation, I would highly encourage you too. It is a very strong and powerful book that is full of a view of what the world will look like in the time when Jesus is coming back. In it, we learn that even when life is hard, that we have to keep our blessings in mind. We are children of God. We were created and chosen by God to be faithful advocates of His.
What we need in this world are Christians who are willing to be fully devoted and faithful to God. We should be faithful through any of our hardships. We can't focus on what we are facing in this world. Instead, we have to focus on our relationship with God and on the promises, He has made to us. We have to stand up and advocate for Him even in the most difficult times of our lives.
Can you be faithful when:
You run out of money?
You are being made fun of?
You don't understand what is happening?
You are hurting?
Faithfulness check: Are you backing up and off. Are you letting your hardships destroy your faithfulness? Have you lost sight of your blessings? Satan will attack you. You may need some mental grit to fight the grind.