The church in Thyatira. The Lord begins with words of commendation: “I know your works, your love and faith and service and patient endurance, and that your latter works exceed the first” (2:19). How faithful were these believers and how they endured with patience all that Satan and the world threw at them! They had even greatly advanced in the faith. However, they tolerated a wicked woman, Jezebel, in their midst who was leading many astray.
What’s the famous Ronald Reagan quote? “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.” In a similar fashion, the promises of God are not merely inherited from one generation to the next nor can they be presumed to be ours simply because we have shown some degree of faithfulness in the past. The promises of Christ are given, he explains, to “the one who conquers and who keeps my works until the end” (2:26). And we have such encouragement to endure! With the faithful at Thyatira, we can sing:
Be still, my soul! the hour is hastening on
when we shall be forever in God's peace;
when disappointment, grief, and fear are gone,
love’s joys restored, our strivings all shall cease.
Be still my soul! when change and tears are past,
all safe and blessed we shall meet at last. -- Kathrina von Schlegel (1855)