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March 20, 2023

Smyrna and the Temptation to Quit

By Michael Youssef, Ph.D.

(You can now listen to today’s MY Devotional on Leading The Way’s daily devotional podcast!)

Read Revelation 2:8-11.

Friends, have you ever thought about what it means to be faithful to Jesus? In the New Testament, the Greek word translated “faith” is the same word translated “faithful.” When we put our complete and total faith in Jesus, we become faithful people.

There are many people today who profess faith in Jesus Christ, but they live just like their unsaved neighbors. If you look closely, you’ll see they haven’t given up anything for the Lord. This type of faith isn’t really faith at all. That’s because a person can never prove their faith in Jesus if it costs them nothing.

The believers in Smyrna didn’t have this problem. In fact, they were hated by the world because they were so faithful to Christ. And because they were hated, they were persecuted, and that caused them to love Jesus all the more. It was to these faithful Christians that Jesus said, “I know” (Revelation 2:9). He says the same to faithful Christians all over the world today: “I know what you are going through. I understand how much your faith is costing you.”

Satan wants us to buckle under the weight of suffering and the fear of loss. That’s why we need to be reminded every day that Jesus is “the First and the Last, who died and came to life again” (v. 8). There is nothing that banishes fear like the power of the resurrected Jesus. There is nothing that will give you more courage to suffer for His name than the assurance that your Savior knows, cares, and will reward your faithfulness.

Prayer: Jesus, may I have a deep love for You that fuels a steadfast faith like that of the church of Smyrna. I know that You will give me courage as I look to You and Your sure promises. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

“Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you life as your victor’s crown” (Revelation 2:10c).

Learn more in Dr. Michael Youssef’s sermon Letters from Jesus, Part 3: WATCH NOW

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