I know your afflictions and your poverty—yet you are rich! I know about the slander of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan.Revelation 2:9 NIV
Smyrna was one of the seven churches Revelation was addressed to. It was not a church that many of us today would likely choose to join. At least not at first glance. The church was poor and had very little that the world would value. They were also facing opposition from their neighbors and the civil authorities. Life was not easy for the church at Smyrna.
And Jesus acknowledged their poverty and affliction. And yet, Jesus told them that they were rich. Contrary to all outward appearances, they had great wealth. It was not wealth hidden away in some secret location here on Earth. They had none of that. But they were rich in what mattered.
This church had remained faithful despite all that they faced. It would have been so easy to surrender to despair and give up. Or to compromise to make their lives easier. But they did not. Despite being poor and afflicted, they held fast to their hope in the Lord, experienced the riches of God’s grace for them, and knew his power at work within them (Eph. 1:18-19). In addition to the riches laid up for them in heaven (Matt. 6:19-21).
The example of Smyrna is a good one for us. You may not have much that the world values. And you might be facing opposition from the world around you. But remain faithful, despite everything that says you are foolish for doing so. Be faithful, and you will experience true riches. Riches beyond this world’s imagination.