"To the angel of the church in Smyrna write, These are the words of him who is the First and the Last, who died and came to life again. I know your afflictions and your poverty, yet you are rich! I know the slander of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. 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."(Revelation 2.8-10)
The letter to "Smyrna," encourages the Christians that although they "suffer persecution," they are nevertheless rich. John writes in Revelation 2.8, "I know your afflictions and your poverty, yet you are rich." Pain is part of life, but it is never easy to "suffer persecution," no matter what the cause. Christians may suffer, even to death but their time of pain and trial will be short compared to their eternal reward.
The Ephesians' "ten days" of persecution would have a specific beginning and end, but God would always remain in control. Jesus commended the church at Smyrna for its faith under persecution. He then urged the believers that they need not fear the future if they remained faithful. "Suffering" draws Christians toward greater faithfulness.