Ezekiel 45:1-12; 1 Peter 1:7-12; Psalms 119:9-16; Proverbs 25:15
NT: “Though you have not seen him, you love him; though not seeing him now, you believe in him, and you rejoice with inexpressible and glorious joy, because you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls. Concerning this salvation, the prophets, who prophesied about the grace that would come to you, searched and carefully investigated. They inquired into what time or what circumstances the Spirit of Christ within them was indicating when he testified in advance to the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow. It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves but you. These things have now been announced to you through those who preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven — angels long to catch a glimpse of these things.” (1 Peter 1:8-12 CSB)
In the midst of the trials and sufferings of this life, we have a steadfast hope through faith. The writer of Hebrews taught that faith is the reality or assurance of what is hoped for and it is the proof or conviction of what is not seen (Hebrews 11:1). Faith enables us to see spiritually what we cannot see physically. Just like the believers in Asia Minor that Peter wrote to, none of us have actually seen Jesus Christ. Yet by faith, even though we haven’t physically seen Him, we can love Him and believe in Him. By enabling us to see the unseen, faith also enables us to bring things that we hope for into present reality. When we love Christ and believe in Christ by faith, we are able to experience now a level of that future ultimate salvation we all hope for and look forward to. It is by realizing our future hope now by faith that our sufferings and trials can be turned into inexpressible and glorious joy. The enemy of our soul wants to use trials and suffering to bring out the worst in us. God wants to use trials and suffering to bring out the best in us. If we love ourselves and trust in only what we can see, then the enemy will have his way. If we instead, love Christ and realize our glorious future by faith, we will shine with God’s glory and be refined more and more into His likeness.
The prophets of old prophesied of Messiah’s suffering, Messiah’s glory, and the resulting blessing that would come to the people of God – but they did not fully understand how all of that would play out and come to fruition. Apparently, even the angels are a little unclear on how God’s plan of redemption will accomplish everything God has willed to accomplish. Christ is the Word of God made flesh and the fulfillment of all the prophets prophesied. We can experience now, first hand, all the things the prophets looked for and the angels desire to see, by faith. Christ suffered and died in our place and was then raised to life and ascended to heaven. He will return one day in the fullness of His glory to claim all that is rightfully His. We now live in between those events – and by faith we can walk in the salvation that was purchased for us through Christ’s suffering, and also live in the reality and inexpressible joy of Christ‘s glorious return by faith.
Psalms: “How can a young man keep his way pure? By keeping your word. I have sought you with all my heart; don’t let me wander from your commands. I have treasured your word in my heart so that I may not sin against you. Lord, may you be blessed; teach me your statutes. With my lips I proclaim all the judgments from your mouth. I rejoice in the way revealed by your decrees as much as in all riches. I will meditate on your precepts and think about your ways. I will delight in your statutes; I will not forget your word.” (Psalms 119:9-16 CSB)
How can a young man… or young woman… or older man… or older woman keep their way pure? By keeping God’s word, seeking God’s word, treasuring God’s word, learning God’s word, proclaiming God’s word, rejoicing in God’s word, meditating on God’s word, delighting in God’s word, not wandering from God’s word, and not forgetting God’s word. The psalmist wrote, “I have treasured Your word in my heart so that I may not sin against You.” John 1:14 says, “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. We observed His glory, the glory as the one and only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” The Word of God that became flesh is Jesus Christ. We now, in this age, keep our way pure by treasuring the Word of God in our hearts – loving Him, delighting in Him, obeying Him and following Him – by faith.
Prayer: Lord, I thank You for the glorious salvation that You have won and secured for me through Your life, death, resurrection and ascension. I also thank You for the capacity you have placed in all of us for faith. I place my faith in You and on Your finished work of salvation. By the grace that You give me through faith, help me to see the unseen, walk in the reality of the not-yet, treasure Your word, will and ways, and rejoice through everything with inexpressible joy. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.