Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
1 Peter 1:8-9
The first few verses speak a lot about enduring trials. For those Peter was writing to, those trials were likely physical persecution from Jews and Romans alike. I imagine that Peter felt a certain amount of awe in these disciples whom he was writing to. He heard the testimony that these people were enduring even though they had never met Jesus face-to-face as he had.
I wonder if Peter didn’t feel incredibly humbled hearing about the faith his audience was displaying through their trying circumstances. Remember, Peter fell away from Christ during Jesus’ trial, persecution, and execution. He had seen and heard all that Jesus had done and all that he had taught; yet, he fell away. This audience Peter was writing to had not experienced Christ’s physical ministry first hand, and still they believed. I wonder if Peter froze and reflected on the significance of this when he dictated this letter: “Though you have not seen him, you love him.” I could see him pausing and smiling over this in amazement at how the Holy Spirit was working because he himself had faced persecution earlier in his life and folded underneath the pressure of it.
Now, that same hope that enabled Peter’s audience to persevere, and indeed the same hope that allowed Peter to press on to his own martyrdom, lives in us. We can move forward, rejoicing in all that the Lord has done and continues to do. We can also rest assured in the promise of what he will do in the future. For the Christian, the future is bright; it is the salvation of our souls. The joy and security that we have found in this hope should be a testimony that shouts through our personal struggles to a lost and dying world. That testimony should also serve as a reminder for us as we persevere through circumstances previously considered unbearable.
Rejoice and look forward as much as possible. Find joy in the faith that initiated your walk with Christ because hope, faith, love, and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit can and will carry you along to God’s arms.