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Read Introduction to 1 Peter

 

Whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory

 

with joy inexpressible

There are two qualifications that describe this joy. These qualifications will help you determine whether you have this joy. 

Qualification #1 – “joy inexpressible”

Qualification #2 – “and full of glory”

The first qualification of this joy is the word “inexpressible. Biblical joy baffles description. Joy is found in the “whom” of this verse. It is found in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. God is the object and ground of the believer’s joy.

“Inexpressible” means unable to tell out. Our joy baffles the ability to describe. We cannot express properly our joy in God. It passes all human language. All attempts to circumscribe it will end in frustration. Still water runs deep. This goes beyond personality and the psyche. This is not psychology but spirituality!

We can count a poor man’s wealth. Often extraordinarily rich people cannot count their wealth. They have their riches in many forms: stocks, banks, businesses. We cannot count our riches in Christ. He is a limitless resource to our spirituality. 

We can cram shallow emotions into the limits of human vocabulary. However, when it comes to deep emotions, we cannot fully express them. How can we explain the love for our wife or child? We can broach the subject but we can never fully describe that kind of love. It is impossible to describe to others precisely how much and with what kind of love we have for them. In shallow streams we can see pebbles below the water but in the ocean there are depths that have never been searched by men. So it is with Christ,

“But as it is written:

“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard,

Nor have entered into the heart of man

The things which God has prepared for those who love Him” (I Cor. 2:9).

Are you thinking on the things God has prepared for you? The joy of your life depends on the character of your thoughts.

Joy is not an end in itself but a result of our faith. We reside in right relation to God through faith. We cannot live the Christian life; we need to trust God to empower us to live it. 

PRINCIPLE:

Joy is the flag of the heart that shows the King is in residence. 

APPLICATION:

If we fly high enough we will get into clear skies. The joy of our lives depends on the character of our thoughts. Joy does not depend upon circumstances so joy is not happiness. 

Happiness depends upon what happens to us. “Do I have good health? Do I have congenial company? Am I financially set? Do I have pleasant circumstances?” Happiness then is not joy. 

A person may have joy when he does not have happiness. It is possible to lay on a hospital bed with joy. We can have physical affliction and rejoice in the Lord through it all. Happiness and unhappiness do not exist together but joy and sorrow can exist together. 

The Lord was called “a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief” (Isa. 53:3) yet we read that he held both joy and pain at the same time,

Hebrews 12:2 “looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” 

Another example is Paul who was in prison. That is not a very happy situation but he sang praises to God there. As a result the Philippian jailer came to Christ. It is foolish to wait until we have reached the heights before we view the scenery.

We find joy in a person, not circumstances. Do you remember when you first came to Christ? You could not hold your joy. It burst forth everywhere. You were full and running over. Somewhere along the way it leaked out. 

Christian joy is an exulting joy. We breathe out joy from within. This joy spreads throughout our soul like a newly broken bottle of poignant perfume. The aroma penetrates our proximity until its fragrance moves all about everywhere we go.

Do you have personal joy? What is your view of Christ and his provisions for you?

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