I have recently been reading a short business fable entitled “Bounce”. The basic premise is that amidst the despair of difficult times lies the opportunity to use the adversity as a springboard for great reward. While this story is fiction, the universal truth it conveys dates back to the Bible.
I had just never noticed this theme in Revelation 2-3 before. I have tended to dwell on the criticisms of the seven churches.
To the church in Sardis: I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead (Rev 3:1)
To the church in Philadelphia: I know your deeds… I know that you have little strength (Rev. 3:8)
To the church in Laodicea: I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. (Rev. 3:15)
In each case, there is the promise for great reward when these various trials and temptations are overcome.
To the church in Sardis: He who overcomes will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out his name from the book of life, but will acknowledge his name before my Father and his angels) (Rev. 3:5)
To the church in Philadelphia: Him who overcomes I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. (Rev. 3:12)
To the church in Laodicea: To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne. (Rev. 3:21)
Like these flawed churches I confess that I succumb to trials and temptations. Thank you that you sent your Son to overcome this world and redeem sinners like me. I desire to overcome as well that I may prove worthy of the rewards that you promise.