I have been studying Revelation and in light of the exponentially virulent attacks against life-affirming ministries and organizations across our nation recently, much of what Jesus proclaimed speaks loudly to our current circumstances.
Specifically, Jesus’ words to the Church in Smyrna are especially relevant. He declared, “I know your tribulation Do not fear what you are about to suffer for ten days you will have tribulation.” (Revelation 2:9-10). The Greek word used here for “tribulation” is thlipsis. It is a strong word which essentially means “crushing pressure”. This word is never used in the New Testament to refer to the normal everyday pressure of living in a broken world—rather, it is the pressure experienced only along the lines when kingdoms clash, most clearly experienced when the kingdom of darkness clashes against God’s Heavenly Kingdom. Or, in our case, when the kingdom of death through abortion clashes against the kingdom of Life in Jesus!
It is interesting that Jesus did not say he would remove this thlipsis from the church in Smyrna. Rather, He exhorts them to “be faithful unto death”, implying that it would get worse before it gets better. However, there will be a magnificent reward– “the crown of life” (Rev 2:10)!
You see, we are only experiencing this thlipsis because of our closeness and faithfulness to Jesus. The Christian psychiatrist John White puts it this way: “Satan’s supreme object is to hurt Christ and Christ’s cause. You personally are of no interest to him. It is only as you relate to Christ that you assume significance in the enemy’s eyes.” That is why Jesus allows us to experience this pressure for which He’s already prepared us to handle, because it emphasizes our nearness to Him. Importantly, experiencing tribulation is affirmation that we are being effective in the work we are doing in His Name!
Jesus assures us that He has final authority over this tribulation. As He said to the church in Smyrna, they would only experience the thlipsis for “ten days”—the enemy will not have free reign, he is limited and the death sentence has already been pronounced over death. Evil is on a leash and Jesus holds that leash!
We are keenly aware of how intense the battle is on the frontlines where you are, perhaps now more than ever. Please know that you, your team and your ministry are covered in our strong intercessory prayer.
You and I know we are warring from a position of victory. Jesus has already dispatched His Angel armies who are encamped over you and your team. Be greatly expectant for a mighty move of our Conquering King in the days ahead as you continue to press forward against darkness to save more lives and souls!