1 Peter 1:6-9
Wherein you greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, you are in heaviness through manifold temptations:…
I. HOW COME WE INTO CONTACT WITH JESUS? The uppermost point of contact, the most apparent in the believer's life, is love. "Whom not having seen ye love." But the text tells of another point of contact, "In Whom, though now ye see Him not, yet believing." We are again reminded here that we do not see, but we are assured of the possibility of believing in Him without sight. Ah, have I not by faith made real to myself the Saviour on the Cross? In Christ you have believed, and you know that your sin is forgiven, that His righteousness is imputed to you, and that you stand accepted in the Beloved. This is not to you a matter of hope; it is a matter of firm conviction. You have not seen, but you have believed. As to His resurrection also. You did not see him when He rose early in the morning from the tomb and the watchmen in terror fled far away, but you have believed in Him as risen. I believe that because He lives I shall live also, and it is possible to believe this as firmly as though we saw it. Christ is in heaven pleading for us. We cannot see the ephod and the breastplate, but we believe that He intercedes successfully there for us. We choose Him to be our advocate in every case of sore distress, in every case of grievous sin; we believe that He is able to save unto the uttermost them that come unto God by Him, and we leave our suit with Him in perfect confidence. Still the point is, that carnal people will imagine that if there could be something to touch or smell they should get on, but mere believing and loving are too hard for them. Yet such thought is not reasonable. An illiterate man cannot see that mental work is work at all, but he who is capable of mental labour soon feels the reality of it. Just transfer that thought. Coming into contact with Christ by touch looks to most people to be most real, that is because their animal nature is uppermost; coming into contact with Jesus by the spirit seems to them to be unreal, only because they know nothing of spiritual things. Thoughtless persons think that mental pain is nothing. Mere animal men will often say, "I can understand the headache, I can understand the pain of having a leg cut off"; but the pain of injured affection, or of receiving ingratitude from a trusted friend, this by the rough mind is thought to be no pain at all. "Oh," says he, "I could put up with that." But I ask you who have minds, Is there any pain more real than mental pain? Just so the mental operation — for it is a mental operation — of coming into contact with Christ by loving Him and trusting Him is the most real thing in all the world, and no one will think it unreal who has once exercised it.
II. WHAT VIRTUE IS THIS WHICH FLOWS FROM HIM?
1. The first result of trusting and loving Christ is joy, and joy of a most remarkable kind. It is far above all common joy. It is spoken of as "joy unspeakable." Now earth-born joys can be told to the full. But spirit-born joys cannot be told because we have not yet received a spiritual language. I have seen men's faces lit up with heaven's sunlight when the joy of the Lord has been shed abroad in their hearts. The very people who a day ago looked dull and heavy look as if they could dance for mirth because they have found the Saviour, and their soul is at peace through Him. The apostle adds that it is "full of glory." Many sensual joys are full of shame — a man with a conscience dares not tell them to his fellows. The joy of making money is hot full of glory, nor is the joy of killing one's fellows in battle. There is no joy like that of the Christian, for he dares to speak of it everywhere, in every company.
2. The apostle mentions another blessing received by loving and trusting Christ. He says, "receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls." Every man who trusts and loves Christ is saved. When we trusted Jesus, though we used no forms and ceremonies, we received the salvation of our souls.
III. WHAT FOLLOWS THEN FROM THE WHOLE OF THIS?
1. It follows, in the first place, that a state of joy and salvation is the fitting and expected condition of every believer in Christ.
2. There is another inference to be drawn from my subject, and that is for the seeking soul. If you want comfort go to Christ.
(C. H. Spurgeon.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: