Write this letter to the angel of the church in Ephesus. ... I know all the things you do. I have seen your hard work and your patient endurance. I know you don’t tolerate evil people. ... You have patiently suffered for me without quitting. [Revelation 2:1-3 NLT]
There are seven epistles contained in Revelation. This is how the first one begins. The pattern is the same for the other seven letters. The congregation is first commended then it is censured.
The Greek word κόπος, translated here as hard work, can be rendered 'laborious toil'. It reminds me that following God requires inner toughness and requires us to hang in there when the work is hard. It also reminds me of this sentence that I heard Robert Schuller say many years ago.
Tough times never last, but tough people do.I think that sentiment is the heart of what it means to endure. There are things in life that try us like nothing else and lay bare either our weakness or our toughness. People and suffering can surface the best and worst in us. It is why patience and endurance are so needed.
Teach me Lord to patiently act and not impulsively react.
... this devotion is part of a series from the book of Revelation