“I know your works, tribulation, and poverty (but you are rich).” Revelation 2:9
Jesus spoke these wonderful words to the church in Smyrna. The name “Smyrna” means “bitter” and is related to the word “myrrh”. The city of Smyrna was a major port of trade for myrrh. Myrrh is a perfume, and the way the fragrance is released is by crushing it. When crushed, it gives off a wonderful fragrance. It has been used for anointing oil, perfume, embalming and medications for thousands of years.
The church in Smyrna was being crushed by heavy persecution. Many of them were not able to get jobs because of their faith which made them very poor. Many of them were forced to worship Caesar as God and were tortured if they refused. So, what exactly was it that made them rich? Their crushing persecution caused them to cling to Jesus, which made them a sweet smelling aroma to the Lord.
I came across a wonderful poem that I want to share with you: “I counted the dollars while God counted the crosses. I counted the gain while He counted the losses. I counted my worth by the things gained in store, but He sized me up by the scars that I bore. I coveted honors and sought for degrees. He wept as He counted the hours on my knees. I never knew till one day by a grave, how vain are the things that we spend life to save. I did not yet know, until a Friend from above, said, ‘Richest is he who is rich in God’s love!’”
Join us Wednesday night at 7pm as we open Revelation 2:8-11 together and learn more about “The Sweet Smelling Aroma of Smyrna”. God bless you all and hope to see you there!