GO DEEPEROther verses to read: John 16:33; Romans 8:18; Hebrews 12:2.Jesus Christ has never promised His church that living for Him will be free of difficulty. In fact, He promises the church in Smyrna that they will have to face tribulation, poverty, slander, imprisonment and even death. Then Christ tells them to not fear what they are about to suffer. How could they remain steadfast and unafraid in the face of such impending difficulty? Christ reminds them to maintain an accurate perspective and vision of His truth:Though they are materially poor and oppressed by those around them, they were spiritually rich and held the highest favor with God — which matters infinitely more. This week, as you examine your own heart in prayer, think through some of the ways in which you need to have your vision and perspective adjusted. Sometimes it is easy to focus our attention on our difficulties (which leads to fear) rather than fixing our eyes on Christ (who has removed all reasons for us to fear).Perhaps you might have a difficult time at work or school because of what others think of your faith. Many people feel hesitant to speak of Christ to those around them because it could bring relational tension and difficulty. Next time you are faced with one of those situations and have those feelings, remember your identity in Christ and ask Him to remind you of His truth regardless of the way you feel.Christ calls the church to be faithful to Him even if it costs them their lives. Since Jesus is the One who died and came to life again, He has the power to spare us from the second death, which is an eternity in hell. Because he overcame the grave by his death and resurrection, we can be overcomers who are willing to endure anything for the cause of Christ — knowing that the crown of life and an eternal reward awaits us.What has your Christianity cost you lately? After dinner this week, take a few minutes to read through this Scripture again and encourage your spouse and family members to be faithful followers of Christ even when it is painful or costly. Remind one another of the hope of our eternal reward in heaven — the crown of life.