Simply the Bible Blog

Daily Devotion and Podcast

Daybreak for the Suffering (Rev 2.8b)

“These things says the First and the Last, who was dead, and came to life…” (Revelation 2.8, NKJV)

In each of the letters to the seven churches Jesus identifies Himself with some characteristic that is appropriate to the church to which He writes. The church of Smyrna was enduring persectution even to the point of death. Thus, Jesus identifies Himself as “the First and the Last, who was dead, and came to life.” How do these attributes relate to those who suffer?

I am the First. Whatever we suffer in this life, Jesus suffered first. Have we been rejected? Jesus was rejected by His own. Have we been spoken against? They spoke evil of Jesus and even accused Him of being demon possessed. Are we in pain? Jesus endured excruciating pain to the point of death. Knowing that Jesus has gone before us gives us comfort. He has suffered the worst the world can give and overcome, so that we can take courage.

I am the Last. Those who are suffering need to be assured that there will be an end to it. Jesus comforted the church in Smyrna by telling them that they would have tribulation for ten days. In other words, it wouldn’t last forever. In every painful trial we endure we can know that “this too will pass.” My heart goes out to those who suffer chronic pain or a terminal disease. They have little hope that things will ever change in this life. But in Christ we have eternal hope. At the end of the race we will meet Him face to face and know that the pains and infirmities of this life have all come to an end.

I was dead. When Jesus took the cup from the Father’s hand, He drank it to the dregs. The Son became human so that He could do what God could never do–die. By tasting death on our behalf He is able to comfort those who live in the shadow of death. He has passed through this fearful veil and has promised never to leave us, even when we leave this life. Precious in His sight are the death of His saints (Psa 116.15).

I am alive. This is the greatest comfort of all. To every generation death was the final chapter. It was the period at the end of every life. Jesus passed through the gates of death and Hades but came back alive. Death’s final captivity could not hold Him. He rose again to give us the confident expectation that there is a power greater than death. He is the resurrection and the life, and all who believe in Him, even though they die, yet they shall live (John 11.25).

Early in the morning, while on vacation in Kauai, I rose to drive to the east coast. Arriving before dawn I put my chair in the sand and waited. Then it arose. Gradually the darkness ebbed and the light increased. Ocean, horizon, clouds and sun combined to produce ever-changing hues too wonderful for any artist to recreate. Just another ordinary day. A reminder that God always breaks into our darkness with the glorious light of His grace.


Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine

Published by

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: