Daily Devotional: 1 Peter 1:8
In yesterday's devotional, we began a discussion about what God wants for us during this unique time in American history. Based on 1 Thessalonians 5, here’s how I answered that question: God wants your trust in Christ and your hope in the gospel to spill out into your life through joy, prayer, and gratitude. This conviction flows from Paul’s instructions to the church at Thessalonica, “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).
Because of the union of God’s people with the risen Lord, the will of God is their joy. He calls them to rejoice always. That means good times and bad. That means healthy times and virus times. That means wealthy times and lean times. That means times of freedom, and times of cooped-up-quarantine.
So, how’s it going? How’s your joy? If it’s waning this week, maybe it’s time to ask yourself, “to what have I tied my joy?” As I told a friend of mine recently, our joy typically rises and falls based on what it’s attached to. Have you tethered it to your money, freedom, health, or wealth? If so, then don’t be surprised if it has taken a hit in the past couple weeks. True, stable, and lasting joy comes from the truths of the gospel and the character of our God.
The Apostle Peter wrote of inexpressible joy. The joy, he said, is filled with glory. But where does it come from? Speaking of Christ, Peter wrote, “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” (1 Peter 1:8). Our joy comes, then, not from managing our chaos, but considering our Christ. It wells up as we consider Jesus, stoking our belief in and love for Him. If your joy is faltering, you don’t need more of what’s left you empty. You need more of the love of Christ, which can leave you full (Ephesians 3:18-19).
God didn’t mean for you to do this alone. If your joy has taken a bigger hit than the Dow Jones this last week, ask a brother or sister to regularly remind you of the blessings that God’s given us in Christ. Maybe every two or three days, check-in with one another and share a scripture or two which have encouraged your faith and pointed you away from propaganda and toward the glorious promises of God. And as you consider Him, you’ll find it easier and easier to rejoice always.