How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed
Whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, receiving the end of your faith—the salvation of your souls. (I Pet. 1:8-9)
The eyes of faith look to Jesus, the delight of the believer’s heart. By faith, the Christian willingly makes the choice to love the Lord, eagerly expecting the day when He appears in all His splendor, full of majesty and honor. Faith in His Word is the way to joy, regardless of circumstances. Joy comes from a faith that trusts in God, confident that He is the Great I AM, Creator of heaven and earth, Captain of the believer’s life. There is no joy to compare with that of the Christian, for, unlike shameful, sensual happiness, the believer can speak of his joy with a clear conscience. Such a one can go to bed with no turmoil and awake with no regrets, a clean mind, and a sincere heart.
The joy in our lives comes from faith, just like the light in our homes comes from electricity. Tear away the electric wire from the source of energy, and the light goes out instantly. Remove our faith in God’s Word and our joy flickers away.
Yesterday’s faith will not contribute to today’s gladness any more than yesterday’s meals will satisfy today’s hunger. Present joy depends on present faith, and the measure of the one is the measure of the other (Alexander Maclaren).
Bad news at home, at work, and in our world bombards us daily. Rather than taking our concerns to Almighty God, we naturally dwell on them, savoring the “What if’s”, tossing us back and forth with fears and doubts. This is why so many of us know so little joy. Our Bibles tell us to rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, and constant in prayer (Ro. 12:12).
Do you have faith? Do you know joy? Are you thinking that, though you have faith, there is no joy? The word ‘glory’ used to describe the inexpressible joy that is yours literally means to blossom or to flourish. The Lord provides daily opportunities to express your faith. It is no more possible for a flower to always be in full bloom than it is for you to live a life that is always overflowing with faith and joy in all aspects. God, the quintessential gardener, is cultivating the seed of faith He has planted within your soul. There is a time to till, to plant, to weed, to harvest. Keep your eyes of faith firmly fixed on Jesus in all seasons of your life. Today is the perfect day and the perfect season to recall, “How precious did that grace appear the hour I first believed.”