Entry #3: Joy inexpressible and full of glory. What?
What picture comes to mind when you read the words “joy inexpressible and full of glory?”
When I think of joy inexpressible, I picture “Joy” from the movie Inside Out. I see smiles and someone who lights up a room with their joy and whose joy is contagious. Certainly not a grumpy face.
As I continue to write out 1 Peter and journal, I’m baffled and challenged in my thinking. The words “greatly rejoice” are used twice and the second time greatly rejoice is described as “joy inexpressible and full of glory.” But guess what? These words are being used in the context of being distressed by various trials. What? Why? How?
This picture beautifully represents what I express when being distressed by various trials. This is not the face of “joy inexpressible and full of glory.” Why the suggestion that I should have joy inexpressible and full of glory while be distressed by trials seems a cruel and impossible Biblical mandate. Is anyone with me here?
Until I started breaking down 1 Peter 1:3-9. Oh, my goodness. The pain and distress of trials get my attention. Well of course. Distressed by trials is real. It’s well…distressing. I cannot ignore or deny the fact that I’m distressed or in a trial. So, I am challenged by these verses.
Me, I’m normally consumed with the distress, struggle, difficulty, and emotions that come with being in a trial. My prayers are focused on the trial too as I cry out for strength, courage, wisdom and often deliverance. I need these things so asking for them is good. For goodness sake, there is no denying the difficulty of being in a trial. Seems logical to me that rejoicing with joy inexpressible and full of glory is nowhere to be found. What am I missing? Well, according to these verses in 1 Peter, I’m focused on the wrong thing. Rather than putting my full attention on the trial, I can while being distressed by the trial put my focus on my FAITH and what the trial is producing. While being distressed, I can focus on:
- God’s mercy which has caused me to be born again to a living hope
- My inheritance waiting for me in heaven
- The fact that I am protected by God’s power (although it may not currently feel like it – a whole other post)
- The truth that this trial is proving to me (and perhaps others) that my faith is real, genuine.
- The outcome of my faith which is the salvation of my soul
#wow | In these five things I CAN greatly rejoice. Though I have not seen Him, I love Him, and though I do not see Him now, but believe in Him, I can greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory while at the same time being in a state of distress. If not one more good thing ever happens to me, I can and should greatly rejoice. Why? My faith is real, my soul saved and secure, my inheritance is waiting for me, and I have a living hope – no matter what. Oh yeah, and through my faith – I am protected by the power of God. #wow #wow
Oh, to be one who greatly rejoices with joy inexpressible and full of glory while at the same time being distressed by trials. Lord, make it so.
What about you?