Forewarned and Prepared by the Spirit of God.
Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you life as your victor’s crown. Revelation 2:10.
God loves you so much that if you will listen to His Spirit, He will forewarn and prepare you for things to come, what ever it is that you are to face.
Forewarning and preparing is found in revelation 2:10, where Jesus said, Fear none of those things which you shall suffer, behold the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that you may be tried.
At the time that Jesus spoke these words, He was speaking to the church at Smyrna, who was suffering great persecution. He was forewarning then so they would be prepared by knowing that some of them are going to be put into prison and tried. Rather than let this event take them by surprise, Christ wanted them to know in advance, so He lovingly informed them of what the future held.
Being put in prison is a harrowing ordeal under any circumstance. But to be thrown into a Roman prison was a horrid prospect to contemplate. With great love Christ forewarned the church of Smyrna that the devil was going to use this experience to test the commitment and steadfastness of their faith.
Believers throughout the Roman Empire were undergoing persecution as well. When the apostle Peter wrote to the believers in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia, he referred to the fiery trials that were testing their faith. That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.
It is interesting that although Christ told these believers, Fear none of those things which you shall suffer, He didn’t hesitate to tell them that very difficult times awaited them. Jesus knew that Satan was about to unleash a horrendous onslaught against these believers to attack their faith, but He also knew they could endure this test because their faith was indeed genuine.
Jesus knew that the intense, impending bombardment would seem unending to the congregation. So, when He asserted, you shall have tribulation ten days, the phrase “ten days” was meant to give encouragement and hope to the suffering church, letting these believers know that their hardships wouldn’t endure forever.
Hard times are inescapable in this life, but God’s power always has and always will continue to sustain those who are determined to be faithful to Him. Even if the fires of adversity rage and it seems as if they will never cease, those trials are temporary and will eventually come to an end.
Almost 2,000 years of church history have proven that the persecuted church always comes forth purer than gold and mightier in the spirit. The spiritual darkness may seem overpowering at times as Satan fiercely attempts to blot out the light of truth, but as John 1:5 promise the light cannot be held perpetually under the domain of darkness. Victory belongs to those who endure to the end.
My prayer for today.
Father, I thank you that your love for the church is so strong that you forewarn and prepare us for the days ahead. Please forgive me for the times when You tried to warn me but I didn’t listen, and help me open my heart to hear what you are saying to me now about the times to come. Regardless of what the future holds, I know that you are lord of all and that you made me to be an overcomer. I pray for a flood of the Holy Spirit’s power to be unleashed in my life in these last days so that I will have everything I need to brave any storm and emerge victorious on the other side.