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, delight of the believer’s heart. By faith, the Christian willingly chooses to love the Lord, eagerly anticipating that day when He is seen in all His splendor, full of majesty and honor. Faith in His Word is the way to joy, regardless of any situation. Joy comes from a faith that trusts in God, confident that He is the Great I AM, Creator of heaven and earth, and 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 a clear conscience and awake the next day with no regrets, a clean mind, and a sincere heart.
Our joy is tied to our faith just as the light in our home is tied to the 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 immediately. “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). Daily we are bombarded with bad news at home, at work, and in our free time. Rather than taking them to the Almighty God, we dwell on them, savoring the “What if’s”, tossing us to and fro with fears and doubts. That 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 ours 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 always live a life of faith and joy. God, the perfect gardener, is cultivating the seed of faith He has planted within your soul. There is a season to till, to plant, to weed, to fertilize. Keep your eyes of faith firmly fixed on Jesus. Today is the perfect day in the perfect season to recall, “how precious did that Grace appear the hour I first believed.”