Joy; April 28, 2020

1 Peter 1:8-9 Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

I really love 1 Peter! I appreciate the anointing of the Holy Spirit on Peter as he expressed these truths, and that same anointing on Silas as he recorded it in well-organized, grammatically correct sentences. (1 Peter 5:12) This first section seems very appropriate, as so much of the world is involved in the trial of dealing with COVID-19. That said, this particular bit reminds me of a video I saw yesterday. I’ve recently discovered the One for Israel section of YouTube, and I have been greatly blessed by all the testimonies of Jews who have discovered that Yeshua is indeed the Messiah prophesied in the Old Testament. One that I watched yesterday was by a woman who indeed radiated the joy that Peter speaks of here. Actually, all of them have been pretty joyful! So many people go through life seeking joy, and the best they find is momentary pleasure. We tend to confuse fun with joy, and they are distinct, though sometimes concurrent. There is nothing wrong with fun, but it actually can be a distraction from the joy that our souls crave. I am reminded of when I was first married. There was a lot of fun, in the physical relationship and various activities, but there was also a deep joy that I had found a life partner with whom to share everything. And frankly, that has only grown in the 51 years since! I think that some couples may never get through to that joy, because they don’t allow their connection to get that deep. That is directly analogous to what Peter is talking about here, just as Paul expressed in Ephesians 5:22-33. The deepest possible joy comes from our connection, our intimacy, with our Creator, who loves us so much He not only made us, He gave Himself for us in the Person of His Son. (Galatians 2:20) The more we discover of that connection, the deeper we get in that relationship, the deeper and stronger our joy becomes.

As is evident, I can’t talk about with without relating it to myself (as in my comment about my marriage), because God has been so gracious to me. I have fun with a number of things, but joy comes in things related to my Lord. There is great joy indeed in sharing Christ with others, especially when they receive Him! There is joy in sharing the riches of His Word that He so graciously pours out. There is joy in meeting His appointments, that are so often unexpected in terms of my schedule. I think you could say that joy comes from participating in my salvation, as Peter says here and as Paul referred to in Philippians 2:12. There, Paul mentions “fear and trembling,” but in my experience, joy is predominant. Peter had already experienced denying Jesus three times, and I think he had gotten that fear behind him! It is my conviction that the joy of knowing my Creator more than outweighs all the trials I have ever experienced, and, I believe, ever could experience.

Father, thank You for Your incredible, overflowing grace! Thank You for the truth of what Jesus said: “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) Thank you that as the Japanese puts it, I can be triumphant in my joy in Christ Jesus my Lord. May Your joy through me draw others to repentance and faith, for their salvation and Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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