Reading: “Whom having not seen[a] you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory.” 1 Peter 1:8
There is much in this world that causes despair and discouragement in the heart of the Christian. Sin without, combined with the sin that dwells within us, often mars our happiness. But over against those reasons for despair stands a glorious reason for rejoicing. The puritan, Robert Asty said, “There is enough in Christ Jesus alone for the soul’s full rejoicing.” As Peter testifies, “We rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory.”
The Christian’s joy rests on the person of Christ. If the Lord Jesus was a mere man our confidence and contentment in Him would be misplaced. Men fail and disappoint, but with Christ it is different. Christ is truly man but He is also truly God. The Lord Jesus occupies the unique position of having two natures in one person forever. He is both God and man at the one time and therefore Christ is the perfect Saviour. We rejoice in that.
The Christian’s joy relates to his position in Christ. There was a time when we were without Christ. We were strangers to God and to grace. We were yet in our sin and without hope in the world. That changed when we were born again. Our salvation brought us from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of light. It brought us from a state where we did not know Christ into a state of being found in Christ. When Christ saves He brings the believing sinner into the blessing of the gospel and into a blessed union with Himself, a union which can never be broken.
The Christian’s joy remains because of his prospect with Christ. Salvation is permanent. The Christian’s future is sure. His place in heaven is guaranteed. His justification will be followed by his glorification. Nothing can separate him from the love of Christ—not even death itself. Because of Christ we can rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory.
“All grace and privilege, all mercy, pardon, everything else we enjoy in this world, and hope for in another, depends upon this, our relation to Jesus Christ; therefore, certainly it is a matter of rejoicing to believers.” (John Owen, Works, 9:466)