Looking for Joy?
“To those who reside as aliens, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, who are chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to obey Christ and be sprinkled with His blood: May grace and peace be yours in the fullest measure.” (1 Peter 1:1-2)
The Light of Life is for all scattered aliens who long for a better place. We were chosen by God, the Father of our new birth. (Remember how Jesus was born of the Holy Spirit? So were we.) God already knew who would come to His Son, and how He would choose them. He would enter the world as Light. Those who loved evil would flee. (John 3:19-20) Those who practiced truth would come. (John 3:21) We came.
Now some would say, “God shows his merciful Light to some and leaves others in darkness. Some created for eternal life, the rest created to perish.” I would rather believe Jesus knows the truth. He is Truth. Our Father is Love. He does not act capriciously, arbitrarily nor unpredictably. Love is not a respecter of persons. (Acts 10:35, Romans 2:11) Casting aside theological arguments of why we came, the fact remains that we did come to Jesus. The “sanctifying work of the Spirit” has begun.
The Holy Spirit’s work is to train us to live holy lives obeying Christ. We are sprinkled with the blood of Christ, secure as the Spirit’s work continues. What a blessing! “grace and peace ….. in the fullest measure.”
Because Jesus rose from the dead, we now have a living hope that we too will receive an inheritance. One that is imperishable, undefiled and reserved for us in heaven. We are protected by the power of God, through the gift of faith. Now we wait for this amazing salvation to be revealed at the last day. (1 Peter 1:3-5)
“In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, so that the proof of your faith, (more precious than gold which is perishable,) even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ; and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls.” (1 Peter 1:6-9)
Joy inexpressible and full of glory.
We can rejoice in the midst of trials knowing that they provide the testing of our faith. God tested Abraham’s faith and we are no different. What robs us of joy is resisting the work of the Spirit and our failures at being obedient to Christ. “If you love Me you will keep My commandments.” (John 14:15)
Father, the joy You give is truly inexpressible. We discovered it in Your Son who is full of glory. How hard it is being trained in holiness, so different from what we once knew. We suffer as pride and flesh are put to death, but when they are the victory is sweet. We have changed, some day we will be like Jesus.
When we cry out to You, Your power is there for us. My cry today is to have victory, day by day, over those things that would prevent joy, the joy You have for us. Though we cannot see You, Jesus, we believe that You live and hear our prayers. Thank you, Holy Spirit, for creating in us a heart that is meant to over-flow with the love of Christ.