Churches of Revelation:
“I know your tribulation and your poverty (but you are rich),
and the blasphemy by those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan.
Do not fear what you are about to suffer.
Behold, the devil is about to cast some of you into prison,
so that you will be tested, and you will have tribulation for ten days.
Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life…
He who overcome will not be hurt by the second death.”
Does God allow suffering? Yes! But it is authored by Satan. God allows it that we might be tested. This is not the pass/fail type of test, but rather the testing by fire that hardens and firms up the faith of the believer. It may be the very “church”, the established institution , that sets out to destroy the real church (believers in Jesus Christ). Note that we are not to live in fear in those days. Yes, it may be tribulation unto death, but we don’t have to fear death! We are going to live forever and in a much better place. Pastor Ronnie used to say 1 birth 2 deaths, 2 births 1 death. If we are born only of water into this fleshly world, we will die a physical death and a spiritual death of eternal damnation. If we are born into this world and into the kingdom of God, then we will face a physical death, but never again will death have victory over us. We will live forever. Notice that we will be given the crown of life if we are faithful unto death. Don’t fear death, but rather fear God and run into His arms. He is safety. He is joy and peace and hope and love.
Ian McClearon, a theologian, once said that what we know in the light, we can see in the dark. Know God now while He may be found, and He will be there still when your life seems dark and your hope is wavering. Learn His promises and His faithfulness through study of the word. Talk to Him daily through prayer and learn to praise Him even in the hard times. He will be there in your darkest hour. Will you discern His voice and His comfort?
I think you will look radiant with the crown of life upon your brow. Decide now that no matter what, you will stand for Jesus!