Although the church in Smyrna may not have looked like much on the surface, Jesus’ evaluation of it was wholly positive.  He did not tone down his description of what the believers were about to suffer, but he pointed to the way to face all the challenges of life and death without fear and full of faith.  Although we may never have to face what those early Christians faced, we all have to live, and we all have to die, so Jesus’ words to the church in Smyrna in Revelation 2:8-11 are words for us today as well.