Descent into suffering is followed by ascent into glory.
Our story is very much like that. I take you back to just three summers ago. That’s when we began our descent into suffering. The tribulation and the poverty that came upon us in those days! The slander of people who spoke ill of us! We experienced similar things to the church at Smyrna. It’s too bad some us did not know the words of Jesus in those days. “I know your tribulation. I know your poverty — and yet you are rich.”
Why would Jesus say that?
Every month our deacons send us a financial report. And every time I see that, part of me breathes a sigh of relief and part of me scratches my head and says, “How in the world is the Lord taking care of us?!”
He knows our poverty and yet we are rich!
Do you know what makes us rich? It’s not the number of people we have. (We have very few.) It’s not the amount of money we have in the bank. (We have very little.) It’s not even the comfy lives we live. (We all struggle to make ends meet.) What makes us rich is the gospel of Jesus Christ that is at work in us. The Spirit of Christ at work among us. The love of God in our hearts that keeps us knit together and knit to Christ. That’s what makes us rich.
All of our needs are met in those things.