Do you have joy inexpressible and full of glory (1 Peter 1:8)? I like this question because it speaks to our experience. The truths of scripture are true regardless of how we feel, so we should never put our sympathies above scripture, but when scripture speaks of the Christian experience, we should pay attention to ours. I think the reason many of us have trouble expressing our joy in Christ is not that it is inexpressible but because we do not have the joy mentioned in the Bible. Even if we have joy, it is often more tethered to the things of the world than to Christ. I believe this is why many Christians cannot describe their joy as “full of glory.”
Peter lays out a chain of truths that lead to Christian joy (1 Peter 1:3-9). If we struggle with a joyless existence, we likely have a weak link somewhere in this chain. He tells us we have been born again to a living hope, there is an imperishable inheritance waiting for us, and the power of God is keeping us for that inheritance. Yes, we have heart-wrenching trials, but they are to prove our faith and that faith is worth more than gold. Jesus will return, and though we have not seen him yet, we love him. All of this is working together to obtain the outcome of our faith—the salvation of our souls. This outcome is why Christians have unspeakable joy.
If we do not have this kind of joy, it must be because we have forgotten one of the truths listed above, or we desire something more than God and the salvation of our souls. In other words, we still think we need something else from this life to have joy, which Jesus has not yet provided. But what else could we need?
We have new life in Christ, our glory awaits, we cannot be lost, and even our trials are doing something good. What could possibly have you down that these truths do not address? Is it money woes, relationship problems, illnesses, or death? All of these things are extremely painful, and I do not want to minimize them, but if what Peter is saying is accurate, and it is, then all of your pain is temporary. The work of God in your life will have victory over every one of those afflictions. Not only will he bring them to an end, but he will work it all for your good. It will all be to the praise of his name at his appearing, which is our greatest joy. This means you have reason to rejoice even if your heart is breaking.
As you read this, if you do not yet notice the joy welling within you, take time to meditate on these truths. If that does not work, ask yourself, “why do these truths not satisfy me? What do I desire more than this that I think is necessary to have joy?” Once you identify it, you will realize it can never provide the fulfillment you hope it will. It, too, will be something temporary. It may bring you happiness for a time, but it cannot provide you with the eternal joy of which Peter speaks. Cast off that weight and put Jesus back on the throne of your life and wait for the joy of the Lord to be your strength. Unlike earthly delights, as the joy of the Lord grows, you may find that you cannot put it into words because it is full of glory.
Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory. – I Peter 1:8
One thought on “Joy Inexpressible and Full of Glory”
Hello Pastor!!! Sure would like to see more JOY… altho must say… it’s a lil bit of Heaven when I run into another Christ follower!!!!!!!! Oh, my, what Heaven must be like!!!!!!! His Forever, ⚓️ trisha noren Melbourne FL
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