“Whom having not seen, you love; in Whom, though now you see Him not, yet believing, you rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of Glory—receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.”

I Peter 1:8-9

It’s all about Him—and it’s “indescribably delicious.”
“Joy unspeakable and full of Glory.”
That’s the way Peter described the rejoicing that comes when we remember Christ’s Presence in our pain and how God the Father is using our suffering to transform our faith into 24-karat status spiritually.

Even a cursory reading of Is. 53 lets us know of what Jesus endured for our sakes. Truly, He was “A Man of sorrow, well-acquainted with our grief” (v.3). And, when we realize it was God the Father Who “laid on Him the iniquity of us all” (v.6). . .and how it “pleased Him (the Father) to bruise Him (the Son), put Him to grief and be satisfied when He saw the travail of His soul” (vv.10-11). . .just so we could be pardoned, forgiven and adopted. . .it should cause us to bow our heads and whisper, “Thank You, Lord.”

When Peter penned today’s Manna, he still remembered that night in the courtyard when he thrice denied even knowing Jesus (Lk. 22:54-60a). He still remembered the rooster’s crowing and Jesus’ look (vv.60b-61a). He still remembered Jesus’ having told him he’d do such and how he “ran out into the darkness and wept bitterly” (vv.61b-62; Lk. 22:31-34).

But, he also remembered that morning on the seashore when the Risen Lord met them, asked him three times “Simon, do you love Me?” and how He re-commissioned him to “feed His sheep/strengthen the brethren” (Jn. 21:15-17; Lk. 22:31-32). That’s how he became the powerful preacher of Pentecost (Acts 2:14-38). And, that’s why he could write “Rejoice when you’re going through difficult times—for they are seasonal and necessary. And, in the process the Heavenly Father will further define and refine your faith, making it more precious than 24-karat gold” (I Pet. 1:6-7). Hallelujah!!

Then, in light of that, we deepen in our love for the Lord Jesus, even though we’ve never seen Him or see/feel Him now. Through faith we “believe and rejoice as we receive the end (Grk. ‘telos’—‘goal, conclusion, end-mark, completion, perfection, etc.’) of our faith, even the salvation of our souls.”

Instead of looking through the “microscope of misery” at the way things are, we look through the “telescope of triumph” at the way they shall be (I Jn. 3:2). Instead of whining and pining over our pain and suffering, we rejoice over the Presence of the Risen Lord with us in the midst of them. Instead of crying “Why are You doing/allowing this, Lord?” we “give thanks in ALL things, knowing it’s God’s Will for us in Christ Jesus” (I Thess. 5:18).

What’s going on in your life right now, Pilgrim, that’s causing you to pout instead of praise? What “trial” or fiery furnace are you going through that’s tempting you to forget the One Who’s right there with you in it (Dan. 3:19-25)? Why not stop right now and pray, “Thank You, Lord, that the way things are right now is not the way they’ll always be”? Glory!!

September 4, 2011