Inexpress­ible joy

You can’t hear Him, but He’s wiser; you can’t see Him, but He’s more faithful; you can’t touch Him, but He’s nearer than whatever else you’d trust.

It is one of the most amazing statements of what only grace can do. On the surface, it doesn’t make any sense. If it were not rooted in the most important fact of the universe that you could ever consider, you would call the people involved “crazy.” It marks the fundamental dividing line of all human beings. The apostle Peter is talking about believers living between the “already” and the “not yet” when he says of their relationship to Jesus Christ: “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 Pet. 1:8-9).

Now, allow yourself to consider the radical nature of what this passage says about the deepest motivations of the hearts of God’s people. They have connected their deepest love, belief, joy, and faith to someone they have never seen, heard, or touched. They have staked the hopes and dreams of their lives to this invisible One. Their relationship to Him is one of life-altering love. When they think of Him, they experience joy, joy so deep that it cannot be expressed.

If it were not for the fact that the ultimate fact of human existence—the fact that gives meaning to every other fact—is the existence, character, and plan of God, none of this would make any sense at all. You would stand back, look at these “believers,” and conclude that they were delusional, crazy. But they are not crazy. They are the blessed ones, the enlightened ones, the ones whose hearts have been opened to the most important thing that your heart could embrace.

This is what grace does. It rescues us from our spiritual blindness. It releases us from our bondage to our rationalism and materialism. Grace gives us the faith to be utterly assured of what we cannot see. It frees us from refusing to believe in anything we cannot experience with our physical senses. But grace does more. It connects us to the invisible One in an eternal love relationship that fills us with joy we have never known before and gives us rest of heart that we would have thought impossible.

And that grace is still rescuing us, because we still tend to forget what is impor­tant, real, and true. We still tend to look to the physical world for our comfort. We still fail to remember in given moments that we really do have a heavenly Father. Grace has done a wonderful thing for us and continues to do more and more.


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