Financial stress is often one of the most challenging issues we face. We stress when you cannot pay your bills, we stress when you have medical needs and there’s no finance for treatment, or when the kids need something extra, or the economy is bad, or the government is corrupt and they want to increase our taxes, etc. It is said that more marriages end in divorce over financial stress than for any other reason.
Jesus revealed the real face of the enemy when He said you cannot serve both God and Mammon – Money. What did He mean by that? Did He mean you cannot have an abundance of money and serve Him at the same time? NO! On the contrary He also said that He who is faithful in the least important part of His government, being how much money you have and how you handle it, would become trustworthy enough to rule with Him in His kingdom.
The truth is that the demons behind poverty are vicious creatures, but our glory is in defeating them. Jesus is well aware of how painful financial poverty is. He is deeply acquainted with the pain the saints in Smyrna were suffering and their financial poverty. From their earthly perspective they saw themselves as defeated and poor, but God saw a group of people that were eternally rich and a great delight to Him because they were willing to suffering for their faith in Him.
NOTE: Financial poverty is not a sin! Neither is it a sign of no faith, sin or some other ungodly thing!
Jesus also said that the financially poor are rich in faith – and faith pleased God! The question is, “What faith pleases God? Does poverty please God? NO! Does being rich please God? NO! Faith that pleases God has absolutely nothing to do with your outward circumstances or how much money you have.
Faith that pleases God is an inward life of gratefulness and thanksgiving for who He is and what He has done for you through the cross. It is a faith that is focused on that which is eternal and not that which is temporal.
In other words, it is a heart that takes great delight in knowing Jesus as the Beginning and the End of their life. These saints are the ones who take great delight in His resurrection from the dead, the forgiveness of their sin, and that they will rise from the dead into the most glorious and wonderful eternal, heavenly life that Jesus promised.
Now, Jesus did not come to His suffering saints in Smyrna and promise them this great financial deliverance and freedom from the hardships they were facing. On the contrary, He encouraged them to stay faithful because their persecution was about to increase and many of them would lose their lives because of the fierce attack Satan was about to unleash against them. He encouraged them to stay faithful towards Him in their hearts and they would receive the victors crown! That really sounds like the “prosperity gospel” doesn’t it!? 🤔
I don’t know about you, but I have never heard a sermon on financial prosperity with Smyrna as the reference. Neither have I heard sermons on your breakthrough as possibly being your death! Yet JESUS is the One who wrote this letter to Smyrna, who when they were finished with it, had to send it on to ALL the churches. I wonder how well they received this message in prosperous Laodicea. 😊
At the same time, remember that the letter to Laodicea was also sent to Smyrna. Why? Why were the letters to be sent to all the churches? Because they were applicable to each one of them. Each letter dealt with specific areas of conflict that they had to deal with in their souls. All these letters have to do with internal conflicts and battles that we face as believers. Each one contains wisdom from above. Jesus reveals the battle, gives the knowledge about Himself that you need to become victorious and then shares the wonderful rewards that are in store for those who overcome. Whether you are rich or poor, mammon is an enemy you need to bring under submission to the Lordship (knowledge) of Jesus Christ in your own mind and heart.
These letters are written to the strong and mighty! These letters are written to the saints, God’s most holy people, who have the Spirit of the Almighty God abiding within them, those who He has called to do mighty exploits in the heavenly and earthly realms. These are the mighty men, the champions of the universe. Before them darkness flees in terror. These are the sons and daughters of the Most High God!
Mighty in battle, strong in faith, powerful in love.
This, my friend, IS YOU!
Scripture References: Rev 2:1-11; Jas 2:5; Mt 6:24.
Have a powerful day!
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