Revelation 2:8-11 (NLT)
8 "Write this letter to the angel of the church in Smyrna. This is the message from the one who is the First and the Last, who died and is alive: 9 "I know about your suffering and your poverty--but you are rich! I know the slander of those opposing you. They say they are Jews, but they really aren't because theirs is a synagogue of Satan. 10 Don't be afraid of what you are about to suffer. The Devil will throw some of you into prison and put you to the test. You will be persecuted for `ten days.' Remain faithful even when facing death, and I will give you the crown of life. 11 "Anyone who is willing to hear should listen to the Spirit and understand what the Spirit is saying to the churches. Whoever is victorious will not be hurt by the second death.

Izmir is the Turkish name for Smyrna and is the current city of Smyrna. Izmir is in Turkey and is the third largest populated city and largest port of the country. A city so rich once was suffering in physical poverty. But Jesus was telling the church even though they were poor; they were rich in their spiritual blessings for enduring the suffering that was hurled against them. Jesus takes note of their suffering, warns them of the suffering to come, and gives them comfort He will remain faithful to them and reward them for their faithfulness. Then he lets others know they should be willing to listen and they can overcome the spiritual death that follows the death of the body.

What does it mean to be rich? If you ask various people, each one will give you their own definition of what it would mean. Some would love to own big houses, new cars, and maybe even their own private jets. Yet others are just satisfied if they have enough money to live comfortably in a nice home, take care of their family, and pay their bills. But there are riches beyond physical items. 2 Corinthians 6:8-10 says, “We serve God whether people honor us or despise us, whether they slander us or praise us. We are honest, but they call us impostors. We are well known, but we are treated as unknown. We live close to death, but here we are, still alive. We have been beaten within an inch of our lives. Our hearts ache, but we always have joy. We are poor, but we give spiritual riches to others. We own nothing, and yet we have everything.” Paul understood the hardship of having nothing and living close to death. Yet even in his hardship he experienced the richness and fullness of life with Christ. There was a rich life immeasurable when compared to anything else he could have. Are you experiencing a rich and full life with Christ? Pray Christ would come before the worldly things in your life. Pray the richness He would bring would be evident in your life. Allow Christ to make your life joyful and blessed.