Church of Smyrna
“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” (Revelation 2.10 NLT).
The Church of Smyrna was in a great season of trial and affliction. They believed that they were poor and destitute, but their hardships were making them rich in faith and perseverance. The word, “Smyrna,” can also be translated to the word, “myrrh,” a substance used for many purposes, including medicine, embalming and perfume. There are two ways to extract myrrh. One way is to penetrate the tree containing the myrrh, letting the tree “bleed” the gum like substance. Another way is to take the seeds of the tree and crush them, creating the myrrh perfume. Both methods of extracting myrrh call for a bleeding or a crushing, which was exactly what was happening to the Church of Smyrna. But if the people could only see what God saw, they would realize how rich they were in faith, anointing and strength. If they would only stand strong in persecution for a short season, they would be flowing with the “crown of life,” and the powerful move of God in their church and lives. Many times we are called to a season of trial and affliction, but we must trust that our “bleeding” will pour out the Holy Spirit and our “crushing” will created a beautiful aroma to God. We can rejoice even in our pain and poverty because we know that God is pouring forth His Holy Spirit, and we are rich with God’s presence.
“Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God” (Ephesians 5.2 NLT).