An Arduous Anointing

“I know your afflictions and your poverty—yet you are rich!...Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you life as your victor’s crown”
- Revelation 2:9-10
The second church mentioned in the book of Revelation is Smyrna—the church who was discouraged but not defeated. The church of Smyrna had endured intense persecutions and they had suffered many tribulations.

At this time, the Roman emperors were forcing people to bow down and confess Caesar as lord and offer sacrifices of praise. The church at Smyrna refused. They began to face tribulation, being excommunicated from culture and civilization. No more jobs; no more lifestyle. They were written off from society.

In the letter in Revelation, the Lord reminds them that He’s seen their afflictions—their faith, endurance, and devotion have not gone unnoticed. God declares that though they have lost much, they have not lost everything. Though they are poor, they are rich, not because of their possessions, but because of Christ. The church in Smyrna was a small church, but God reminds them that though they’re small; they’re mighty.

God would rather have a small church with five people who have big hearts over a church of thousands with hearts that are shallow.

So, we see the Lord tell His faithful little church to continue being faithful, don’t give up and don’t fear affliction. These trials are for a season, and you will see victory in the end. Keep the faith.

It’s hard to believe that the little church of Smyrna could find the strength to keep going after having endured so much already. And then, God tells them they are about to suffer even more. But God is saying, “You think you’ve used up all your strength, but don’t let go just yet.”

The name Smyrna means ‘myrrh,’ as in the last gift that was brought by the wise men to Jesus at His birth. Myrrh is a fragrance of anointing, but before myrrh can be used as anointing oil, it goes through a process. It must be squeezed, pressed, crushed. It has to be nearly destroyed in its extraction process before it’s ready to be used for anointing.

The church in Smyrna was being squeezed, pressed, crushed for the sake of Christ. They were slandered and close to a breaking point, wondering why in all their faithfulness would there be no sign of relief.

When you’re in a season that’s pressing you, and you feel like all hell has broken loose on your life, it’s not all for nothing. You’re not breaking your back for no reason, and the reason is this: God is working new life in you, but the enemy thinks he can squeeze that life out of you. Satan is trying to snuff your light out—suffocate you to the point of no return, and he’d love nothing more than to see you give up. But while you’re in the fight of your life, God is preparing you for your anointing. He’s giving you grit, and no suffering for His sake will go unnoticed. Every time you are crushed but you choose to bless His name instead of curse Him, you’re building strength. Resistance against hell is what gives you spiritual muscles, and what will be left after your toil and work will be the sweet aroma of victory.

Through the pressing weight of tribulation, God is anointing you.

1 Comment

Andrea Strickland - January 19th, 2022 at 9:08am

Thank You for this message this morning. I needed these words to make it through this rough season I am facing.

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