“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)
At first glance, what Peter says in this passage seems out of place when you consider those to whom Peter is writing and what they are going through. He is addressing Christ followers who are experiencing extreme trials. They are exiles who have been scattered from Jerusalem throughout the Roman world due to severe persecution. He says they are suffering grief in all kinds of trials. (Vs. 6) Then, he puts a new perspective on these problems by pointing to a faith that transforms our outlook when we face trials. In his comments on 1 Peter, Warren Wiersbe says that faith carries with it a present dynamic that can turn suffering into glory today, not just one day when you die. How can you enjoy the glory now?
The first way to turn suffering into glory now is to celebrate God’s love! We don’t have to see Jesus, Peter says, to love Him! Faith is not based on seeing – but believing! If we love Christ more than we love ourselves, we can experience the glory now! Peter offers some insight into problems. Problems have purpose and, although Satan wants to use life’s trials to bring out the worst in us, God uses them to bring out the best in us. Another way we can turn suffering into glory now is by believing God. Peter says,
“… even though you do not see Him now, you believe in Him and are filled with inexpressible and glorious joy!”
That kind of faith involves trusting Christ. Love and trust go together. When you love someone, you trust them. As you grow in that intimate kind of relationship, no matter the circumstances or adversity, you are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy! Are you enjoying the glory now?
Peter says that we can receive the end result of our faith today, the salvation of our souls! All of this and Heaven too! Don’t wait until you get there to enjoy the glory!