“Write to the angel of the church in Smyrna: Thus says the First and the Last, the one who was dead and came to life: I know your affliction and poverty, but you are rich. I know the slander of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. “
That Old Familiar Feeling
“No one understands!”
This is an oftentimes comical phrase shouted in sitcoms and in dramatic comedies. You’ve seen it before: the misunderstood teenager slams her bedroom door, lashing out at the parents who are only doing their best. We recognize this scene, and many of us have even lived it out…whether as the teen or as the parents.
Yet that feeling of being misunderstood and overlooked is all too familiar to us. This is especially true as we walk through dark seasons of hardship and difficulty. What if we never grow out of that feeling? How do we stay grounded in truth?
He Knows, So We Remember
In some of our darkest moments, we feel as though we are destined to walk alone. This experience may happen to us as individuals or within our families. These hard times may even fall on us as a body of believers, united in our suffering and sadness. It sometimes feels like God isn’t paying attention. It seems like He just doesn’t care about what happens to us as His people.
But the Word of the Lord in Revelation 2:8-9 paints a different picture, and it’s a simple one: He knows, so we remember. Though He may seem to be unaware of our suffering, He knows intimately of what we are going through and has experienced these same complex emotions and difficulties we often find ourselves in (Hebrews 4:15). We must remember both His story and His faithfulness as we navigate the circumstances ahead.
More Than Conquerors
Christ Himself navigated the Father’s wrath and the grave that we might have Him as an example in our suffering and as one who sympathizes with us in our weakness. He knows what we are going through, and He meets us right where we are. Our role is to cling to Him in the midst of it all, remembering who He is and why He is worth holding onto.
Though we must take time to grieve our hardships and feel the pain and emotions of circumstances, He leads us along as conquerers united in Him. We do not walk alone. So because He knows, we remember.
Consider where you currently are in life. Is this season marked by difficulty? If not, can you recall the last difficult era of your life? Reflect on these words of truth and how you can use them now, later, or to guide a loved one in a time of need. Thank the Lord for remaining close by our side and for taking our hardships upon Himself, that He may walk with us and guide is by His love.