I know your...tribulation, and poverty. - Revelation:2:9
Seven times in His letters to the churches of Asia, the Lord Jesus says, "I know" and usually those words are used in a favorable sense. "I know your works...your labor...your patience...your tribulation...your poverty...and charity...and faith." In those words "I know" there is tremendous comfort and sympathy and encouragement for God's people.
Lehman Strauss points out that when Jesus said "I know," He did not use the word ginoske, which frequently means to know in the sense of realizing through progress in knowledge. He used the word oida, which suggests fullness of knowledge, to know perfectly, not merely from observation, but from experience.
Though suffering saints are unknown and hated by the world, they are known to the Lord and loved by Him. Christ knows the persecution and poverty of His own; He knows how the world looks upon them. Many a tired, tried, and troubled saint has been strengthened and encouraged by those two monosyllables, "I know." Those two words uttered by our Savior touch our troubles with the smile of God, and make this world's suffering "not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us" (Romans:8:18).
They are words of sympathy. Our Great High Priest knows what we are going through because He has been through it Himself. He is the Man of Sorrows and is acquainted with grief. He has suffered, being tempted.
They are words of sharing. As the Head of the body, He shares the trials and persecutions of the members. "In every pang that rends the heart, the Man of Sorrows has a part." He not only knows intellectually what we are going through; He knows it as a matter of present experience. He feels it.
They are words of promised help. As our Paraclete, He comes alongside to bear our burdens and wipe away our falling tears. He is there to bind up our wounds and to drive back our foes.
Finally, they are words of assured rewards. He knows everything we do and suffer because of our identification with Him. He keeps a careful record of every act of love, obedience and patience. One day soon He will richly repay.
If you are passing through a valley of sorrow or suffering just now, hear the Savior saying to you, "I know." You are not alone. He is with you in the valley, will bring you safely through, and will lead you safely to your destination.
From One Day at a Time, by William MacDonald, Gospel Folio Press, 1998, p. 337