The rareness of joy

Week beginning: 16th July, 2017 | By Peter Thompson | London

'Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.'

1 Peter 1:8-9 (NIV 2011)

How do we respond when we suffer for our faith? When we're passed over for a promotion, scorned by our friends or given the silent treatment, it's so easy to despair. The believers that Peter was writing to here, however, show a completely different attitude. He speaks of the amazing joy that these Christians show.

Last week when my fellow law student raised their eyebrows at me when I told them I was a Christian, I found it so easy to turn inward. To say 'Poor me'. This verse was a great one to turn to. It reminds us that despite our salvation being something which we only completely enjoy in the future, we have joy in our faith now! A joy of knowing Jesus personally, as we trust in Him and get to know Him better.

This joy comes through faith, of trusting in Jesus even though we have not seen Him and don't see Him now.

How rare it can be that we take the time to dwell on this joy of being in a relationship with Jesus, or of speaking about it with our fellow believers at church or with our colleagues at work. And what perspective this joy can bring to us now, amidst suffering for our faith.

Prayer points:

1.  Pray for members to be struck anew by the joy we have in knowing Christ personally.

2.  Pray for that joy to shine out of members' lives, pointing others to Christ.