April 27, 2012
My message this Sunday from Revelation 2 is called “Overcoming the Fear of Suffering and Death.”
In 85 AD the church in Smyrna was facing extreme persecution from Roman emperor-worshipers and pagan idolaters. They had to make a difficult stand for their faith in the face of impending imprisonment. John had been put in boiling oil and then sent into exile himself. He understood what it meant to suffer for his faith.
Sometimes the Lord miraculously delivers people from suffering. Most of the time he strengthens, comforts and stands with us through times of suffering. Sane people do not like suffering. We try to avoid it when possible. However, we all make sacrifices and suffer to a certain extent for those we love and for the things we want to accomplish.
The Lord wants us free from the fear of death and suffering. Jesus stayed faithful in the face of suffering and death. He triumphed over these intimidating forces. We too can triumph when we see the Lord’s glory and trust in his grace. I’m hoping and praying that this message will help us to grow in wisdom and boldness as we see a fresh revelation of our Lord Jesus.