Thy Kingdom Come – Day 7

Day 7


Revelation 2:9 

‘I know your affliction and your poverty, even though you are rich.’ 

It is a wonderful thing when a child tells you their first joke. Perhaps they learned it at school and they have been practising it over and over again in their heads until they get home and can tell everyone else in the family! They laugh every time they tell it. Their family does too… even if it is one they have heard before. The fact that they already know the story doesn’t stop them listening intently and receiving it as if for the first time. It is all about the relationship. 

When we pray, whether for ourselves, our friends or the huge issues of the nations – hunger, war, climate change, or poverty – we are not telling the Lord something He does not already know. We cannot surprise Him but He loves the relationship and in the conversation and the silence we find our minds, hearts and wills become more aligned to the love and plan of God. 

It was like that for the church in Smyrna in today’s verse. They lived in the most beautiful city, but its beauty was a backdrop for idol-worship and persecution of Christians. The idols today may take different forms – political ideas, what celebrities think, peer-group pressure – but the persecution of Christians is more prevalent today than at any time in history. 

So when we share our difficulties with the Lord we share our pressures, failures and fears with our brothers and sisters down the centuries and across the world. 

What we find is that the Lord reminds us of our riches. 

Ultimate power is not wielded by armies or politicians; it rests with our loving heavenly Father who never forgets us for a second. He is the Father who knows everything there is to know about us and who, if we have believed in Jesus, will see us through whatever this life throws at us and then welcome us into the glory of heaven forever. 

It was true for Christians in Smyrna two thousand years ago and it is true for us now. As well as praying for your five today, hold before God those who really suffer for their faith in Jesus and whom one day we will meet in glory. Let us remember that God understands what they have gone through, and let us continue to stand on that assurance that He also knows all that we go through. The Lord hears our prayers, and He answers them all with a ‘yes’, ‘no’ or ‘wait’. 

When we tell Him of our doubts and how aware we are of our own sin, He reminds us that Jesus is the way, the truth and the life, and that His forgiveness is free and full. When we tell Him how powerless we feel, He reminds us of the dynamic power of the Holy Spirit. 

When we bring our five friends to him and say that we do not know how to share Jesus with them, He reminds us that he has promised to give us the words and that there is no greater sermon than a Christ-like life. 

Bishop of Rutana and his wife in Rutana Diocese, BurundiBishop of Rutana & his wife in Rutana Diocese, Burundi