Revelation 2:8-11 NLT
 “Write this letter to the angel of the church in Smyrna. This is the message from the one who is the First and the Last, who was dead but is now alive:
 “I know about your suffering and your poverty—but you are rich! I know the blasphemy of those opposing you. They say they are Jews, but they are not, because their synagogue belongs to Satan.
 Don’t be afraid of what you are about to suffer. The devil will throw some of you into prison to test you. You will suffer for ten days. But if you remain faithful even when facing death, I will give you the crown of life.
 “Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what he is saying to the churches. Whoever is victorious will not be harmed by the second death.
Reflection . . .
(You may see some formatting changes along with post titles now as “Into Practice”, formerly “Reflecting on God’s Word . . .”)
The message to the church in Smyrna is an encouragement to persevere in faith no matter what happens. The suffering and poverty they experienced and many believers today experience is very real. Many are suffering a great deal for their faith and some face death. Yes, even today! Some are even suffering as were the believers in Smyrna from many who call themselves believers, but are really opposed to true Christian faith.
In this life, we will suffer and we will suffer because of our faith to one degree or another. Our hope is in Christ, so let’s remain faithful to the very end. God’s Word and Prayer helps us through those difficulties and are the communication tools we have for listening to the Holy Spirit.
It is by prayer that we couple the powers of heaven to our helplessness, the powers which can turn water into wine and remove mountains in our own life and in the lives of others, the power which can awaken those who sleep in sin and raise up the dead, the powers which can capture strongholds and make the impossible possible.Ole Hallesby (1879–1961)