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Enjoying without Seeing

1 Peter 1:8-9
Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

We all know that love does not depend on seeing our loved one: indeed, as the English expression says, 'absence makes the heart grow fonder'. But without a personal encounter of some kind, true love can never start. One kind of false love is infatuation - a one-way desire for someone (who may not even know who you are!). Some people think about God like that. They admire His awesome majesty and immense power, but do not believe they can be known by Him. But the truth is: when we believe the Good News about Jesus, repenting of our sins and desiring His rule in our lives; His Holy Spirit says, "I love you too!"

We have never seen Jesus, but all born-again Christians are certain that He knows us personally. Indeed, our love for Him is a response to knowing that He first loved us (1 John 4:19). Jesus said that there is a special blessing to those who believe and love without seeing (John 20:29). And we know that this love is two-way because He gives us a growing confidence that we are known and loved - which is the reason for our joy. It is like reading emails from a loved one far away, we joyfully look forward to our reunion. So it is with Jesus. Every time we read the Bible and the Holy Spirit reminds us of our relationship with Jesus, we should have peace and joy which anticipates the day when we will see Him face to face.

Heaven, with Jesus, is the glorious 'hope' (confident expectation) of every Christian. But that is not the whole story. While we wait, we should want to show our love for Him by obeying His Word; and then experience the joy of His pleasure. Such a Christian should be a joy to work with! He/she knows that they are saved, loved by God and forgiven; this should fill us with joy. But, alas, many of the problems we encounter at work are not always the fault of others. We take our own problems to work with us and inflict the emotional fall-out on our colleagues (Proverbs 29:6) ... no wonder they are miserable with us too! Christians, loved by God should go to work differently, and make a joyful difference to others.

Prayer 
Dear Lord God. Thank you for the joy that comes from believing in Jesus, Please help me to keep alert to all the privileges I have in Christ and not inflict my problems on my colleagues when I would do better to pray about my problems and my fellow workers. I do pray for those who make life difficult for me, and ask you to refill me with Your joy, so that I will not be a hindrance to them. For Your Glory's sake, Amen
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© Dr Paul Adams

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