8 "And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write: 'The words of the first and the last, who died and came to life.
9 "'I know your tribulation and your poverty (but you are rich) and the slander of those who say that they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan.
10 Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and for ten days you will have tribulation. Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life.
11 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. The one who conquers will not be hurt by the second death.' https://esv.org/Rev2.8-11
Encouragement for Suffering Smyrna
I. Different Perspective
Jesus begins comforting them with a reminder that He is God, He is Lord (v. 8), and He knows (v. 9). He is with them.
Jesus gives them the right perspective of those who are slandering them: He is telling them that they are truly His people.
II. Different Destiny
Two commandments from Jesus:
A. Do not fear: Some will suffer. But it will be for a short while (the meaning of “ten days”).
B. I am with you
C. Be Faithful: Not a new call: Cf. Luke 9:23-24 “...For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it.”
Why can Jesus make this ultimate claim upon our lives?
1. Because He is Lord over death (v. 8).
2. Because He has gone through death ahead of us. He has conquered death. He will reward us. (v. 10)
3. Because He will lead us through the toughest of experiences to His House to be with Him forever (v. 11. Cf. Psalm 23).