Thursday, July 24, 2014

Though Now You Do Not See Him

1 Peter 1:6-9, “In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, receiving the end of your faith – the salvation of your souls.”

From this handful of verses we come to realize that Peter is writing to believers who had not physically seen Jesus while He was among them. They had not heard Him preach, they had not sat at His feet moved by His teaching, and Peter is acknowledging this beautiful faith of theirs, telling them that though they had not seen the Christ, they loved Him nevertheless.

If we think about it in practical terms, it must have been easier for one such as Peter to believe, and love, and follow after Christ, than it would have been for one such as Paul who never met Him, except on the road to Damascus, nor heard Him preach or teach.

It is far easier to draw conclusions and make up your mind about someone with whom you are often in contact, whom you see on a daily basis, and are able to watch closely. It is far more difficult to believe and love someone whom you have never met, whose only frame of reference regarding their person is the teachings they left behind and the testimonies of the disciples He sent into the world.

Nevertheless, these individuals to whom Peter was writing loved Jesus though they had not seen Him. They believed in Jesus though they had not seen Him, and even rejoiced with joy inexpressible and full of glory though they had not seen Him.

It wasn’t as though these individuals had run down to the local bookstore and bought themselves a Bible, or the sermon anthology of the Christ. At best, they heard via word of mouth about the One who had conquered death, the One who had come to save those who would believe on Him, the One who by His sacrifice reconciled us unto the Father, and they believed.

I’ve run across individuals throughout my life who say that if only they could see Jesus, they would believe. Others, in need of less convincing only wanted to see an angel, or witness a miracle, and then they too would believe.

We see here that these individuals to whom Peter was writing had neither seen Jesus, nor had they seen angels, nor had they witnessed the sea part, yet they believed and rejoiced.

Men today are phenomenal at making excuses. Ask them why they will not believe, and chances are better than good that what you will hear coming out of their mouth will be an excuse. Whether it’s because their parents left a bad taste for religion in their mouth, or because they feel as though they’re spiritual enough without having to pick a team, or because they believe all paths lead to the same destination, men excuse their unwillingness to bow their knee at the foot of the cross of Christ in various fashion but with the same underlying reasons.

They love their sin, and are unwilling to part with it. They love the world and the things of the world, and because they are encouraged to continue in their lukewarm condition by leaders who ought to know better, they take no steps toward believing as those to whom Peter wrote had.

Another thing which leaps from the page as we read these verses is that Peter is either heavily generalizing when writing to these believers, or all of them, to the last, had been grieved by various trials.

He did not say ‘though now for a little while some of you have been grieved by various trials’, nor did he say ‘most of you’, but simply, you!

To those who believe they have a special dispensation to bypass trials and hardships, I would urge you to read, and reread this handful of verses in 1 Peter. To those who believe that because you belong to a certain denomination, or are the citizen of a certain nation trials and tribulations will avoid you, I would urge you to think again, and prepare your heart for the inevitable.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.


Patti Blount said...

Yes, Amen. Even the substance of faith is unseen, and things are not yet what they appear to be. Add to that Jesus saying "blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe." This unseen reality we live in is considered normal fare for those who are in the Kingdom of God. We are being transferred from the soulish realm to the realm of spirit, and so in that, we are going from the seen to the unseen-the walk of faith. It is a strange and yet wonderful place to be.

Anonymous said...

Patti, Michael - Amen! You both pricked me! Thank you for challenging. Michael, how about a picture of the lovely Belle? I'm hungry for a peak at that sweet face!