In "God's Word for Today" Steve Oliver writes:
God sees things differently, sometimes opposite, from the way we think. Smyrna was small, poor, and persecuted, yet God had nothing negative to say about her. The fact that God acknowledged that they were poor, yet told them that they were, in fact, far from poor, demonstrates that He rec-ognized both the reality in which we live and the reality which He alone sees. God is also realistic: He directly told them that they were going to suffer more. Why would He do this — might it not discourage them?
Source: Christ, the Triumphant Lord: Adult Teacher's Insights, page 11.