Though We Have Not Seen Him

Dick Dahlstrom | January 11, 2018

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1 Peter 1:3–9

Praise be to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade-kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed the last time.

In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. 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 inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.                                                                                               

—1 Peter 1:3–9

Peter, the author of this letter, was a very close friend of Jesus. He was called by Jesus to be a disciple, and then walked with Him through His earthly ministry, death, and resurrection. As Peter wrote to these early followers and to us today:

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 inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls (1 Peter 1:8-9).

Before being called by Jesus, Peter was just another fisherman on the sea of Galilee doing his job with his family. He had no idea what would happen after seeing Jesus and being called to become a fisher of men. He was not chosen by God because he was anything special in human eyes; he was called and special in God’s eyes. His life would never be the same.

Later, Jesus asked him, “Who do you say that I am?” Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.” Jesus replied, “Blessed are you Peter. . . . you are Peter (a stone), and on this rock I will build my church” (Matthew 16:13–19).

This humble fisherman became a stone, part of the building of the church, and had the unique privilege of seeing, walking with, and being a close friend our Lord in the flesh. Now, he writes to us: “though you have not seen him, you love Him.”

Peter saw the risen Lord with his earthly eyes. We see Him revealed in our hearts through the Word and His spirit in us. Even though we do not see Him physically now, we believe in Him and are filled with joy unspeakable and glorious.

I was not given the opportunity to see Jesus Christ in the flesh, or in His risen body, as Peter was. But now, I believe in Him and His Holy Spirit lives in me. I am filled with inexpressible and glorious joy that comes from the relationship I have with God as my father. I am a child of God, accepted in Christ, whom I love. When I accepted Christ and received the gift of God, I was not immediately taken to be with Him, but left on earth to run the race of life with the goal of living out His purpose for me. I am receiving the goal of my faith, the salvation of my soul.

My salvation is not only for eternity, but also for today. The just shall live by faith, as well as die by faith. We are created in Christ to do good works. May our goal be to live out our salvation, received from our Lord, Jesus Christ.

Questions for reflection and discussion: Can you imagine what it was like to see the risen Lord? What does Peter mean when he says, “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 inexpressible and glorious joy”? How does this encourage you? 

This week's devotions were written by Dick Dahlstrom. Dick has attended Wheaton Bible Church for the past ten years. He participates in the ministry and fellowship of the Connections class, and enjoys preparing and teaching Bible studies and devotionals. 

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