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Read Introduction to Revelation

 

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.”

 

Jesus now turns to an appeal to the Symrna Christians. 

Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer.

The word “fear” carries the idea of being put to flight. Jesus addresses the problem of lack of courage that Christians in Symrna might face: “Don’t turn chicken. Stand up to trial. Don’t cave in. Do not let the devil subdue your soul. Draw your courage from me.”

Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison,

There is no Greek word for “some,” but it is implied in the word “of.” The devil will cast only “some” into prison. Some, not all, will go to jail. God limits suffering to some; He does not universally assign it to all.

that you may be tested,

The devil puts us to the test, as does God, but in a different way. The evil one will assay the metal of our soul to prove whether we are what we say we are. When you face temptation, do you answer to sin? We can translate the word “tested” as try to trap. The devil tries to trap us in sin.

“No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it” (1 Corinthians 10:13).

“Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. Let no one say when he is tempted, ‘I am tempted by God’; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone” (James 1:12-13).

The devil will attempt to lure us into his lair. Once there, he will trap us in his system, which is more difficult to overcome. There, our true character will come out.

and you will have tribulation ten days

“Ten days” probably means that these suffering Christians will only suffer for a limited period. Some believe this refers to ten periods of suffering under the Roman emperors.

The brief tribulation we face here on earth contrasts with the eternal reward (2 Corinthians 4:17). God only allows suffering for a set time. He does not allow limitless suffering for Christians. Because Jesus predetermined that this test would last ten days, no power in the universe can make it last eleven days.

Principle:

Jesus foreknows our trial; He forewarns and forearms us of our trial.

Application:

Are you faithful as the storm clouds gather in your life and are about to burst upon you? Jesus’ watchword was “fear not.”

When a trial comes, it strips us of superficial support systems. Instead of leaning on the grace of God’s provision, we lean on ourselves. That will not sustain us during the trial. Only by committing our souls to a faithful Creator can we cope with trials appropriately.

“Therefore let those who suffer according to the will of God commit their souls to Him in doing good, as to a faithful Creator” (1 Peter 4:19).

Jesus, the Sovereign Son of God, manages the trial that comes to us. Therefore, our trial is not capricious but in His sovereign plan. That is why we can “commit” our souls to Him.

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