Faith that leads to joy
You love him even though you have never seen him. Though you do not see him now, you trust him; and you rejoice with a glorious, inexpressible joy. 9 The reward for trusting him will be the salvation of your souls. This salvation was something even the prophets wanted to know more about when they prophesied about this gracious salvation prepared for you. They wondered what time or situation the Spirit of Christ within them was talking about when he told them in advance about Christ’s suffering and his great glory afterward. They were told that their messages were not for themselves, but for you. And now this Good News has been announced to you by those who preached in the power of the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. 1 Peter 1:8-11
Faith in God will be tested. This is to prove the sincerity of faith. As James said, “For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow” (James 1:3). God’s purpose in the trials we are facing might not be visible or known in a month, a year, or even a lifetime. There are even instances that God’s purposes were only known after the death of a Christian. It could also happen that His purposes could only be discovered at His return in the Second Coming. What matters is not in finding the reason or purpose of our circumstances but the choices we make when we respond to difficulties in life. From the text, the apostle Peter said that Christians in his time chose to love Christ and to trust Him more. This is despite the fact that they have not seen Him nor encountered Him visibly. They have trusted Him for their salvation now and for eternity. This relationship with God provided them the reason to remain joyful even in the midst of their trials for they have this sure hope that one day they will see the Lord Jesus Christ. Joy is always attached to our experience of love and trust to God. This is why no matter how deep our pain is and how great our trail is, there is still a reason to rejoice because of the abiding presence of God in our life. The Lord Jesus Christ had set the pattern for His children. The presence of suffering in the life of a believer is not a sign that God had abandoned or He does not care for His children. When Christians suffer, it just proves their fellowship with Christ for His suffering led to His glory. We may feel weak and feeble in our faith but the Holy Spirit is within us to empower us. His empowering is needed so that when things get harder in life, the more we are able to look up to God, have the proper response, and to never give up. No matter what past we had, in Christ we have a bright future. Because of our sure hope in the future, God gave us a wonderful opportunity to provide people around us an example so that they too will realize that in Christ there is joy even in the midst of trials.
Noel De Guzman
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