“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” – 1 Peter 1.From David King:
I came across this verse the other day – it made my heart ache. The words, “inexpressible and glorious joy” resonate powerfully with my spirit. I’ve had glimpses of it, but I want so much more. What particularly struck me was the fact that Peter wrote it. This is the Peter who walked with Jesus, ministered with Jesus, joked with Jesus, ate with Jesus, watched Jesus die and then saw his resurrection. I sometimes wonder what that would have been like – to see Jesus in the flesh.
But listen to what Peter writes. He knows that his readers haven’t had his experience, but he sees in them such a deep love for Jesus, “Though you have not seen him, you love him…” And then he marvels at the impact on their lives – they “are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy.” He must have stood back and thought – that is a miracle.
More wonderfully, this is the miracle offered to us. We might think that being a Christian would be so much easier if we saw Jesus, but Peter would say, “No, look at the church I ministered to. They hadn’t seen Jesus, but they loved him and I could see the inexpressible and glorious joy shining out in their lives.”
Many times in the New Testament, it testifies to the joy that comes from loving Jesus. Consider these words from Philippians 3, “Whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ, what is more I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.”
As you read the verse from 1 Peter above, how does it make you feel? Does it connect with your experience or does it seem a bit alien? Either way, it is a good thing to keep on praying for the inexpressible and glorious joy that comes from loving and believing in Jesus – don’t stop until you’ve experienced it. And once you’ve experienced it, don’t stop praying for it again and again.
I think that if you asked Peter what were the greatest encouragements to him during his life of serving Jesus, he would have named these Christians and their inexpressible and glorious joy. I know as a pastor, that my greatest encouragement is when I see someone talking about Jesus with light in their eyes and passion in their voice and I get a glimpse of their inexpressible and glorious joy.
Recently the staff team at St Patrick’s have been memorising this verse and the verses around it – 1 Peter 1.3-9 – why don’t you test one of us when you next talk to us?! Why don’t you learn them yourself? It takes effort, but it’s worth it.
“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” – 1 Peter 1.8