“Be happy about it! Be very glad! for a tremendous reward awaits you up in heaven. And remember, the ancient prophets were persecuted too.”
We can be comforted to know that God’s greatest prophets were persecuted. Read about Jeremiah (Jeremiah 38:1-6); Isaiah (tradition says he was killed by King Manasseh; see 2 Kings 21:16); Amos (Amos 7:10-13); Zechariah (2 Chronicles 24:20-22); and Elijah (1 Kings 19:2).
Persecution would become a harsh reality for many early Christians. At the time the apostle John wrote Revelation, the Roman government had stepped up its persecution of Christians, causing John to wonder if the church could survive and stand against the opposition.
But Jesus appeared in glory and splendor, reassuring John that he and his fellow believers had access to God’s strength to face these trials (see Revelation 1:17-18) and that tremendous rewards awaited them.
If you are facing difficult problems, remember that the power available to John and the early church is also available to you. In the end, all believers will finally be with God in heaven. All who have been faithful through the ages will sing before God’s throne (Revelation 7:14-17). Their tribulations and sorrows will be over: There will be no more tears for sin, for all sins will have been forgiven; no more tears for suffering, for all suffering will be over; no more tears for death, for all believers will have been resurrected to die no more.