Great Joy in Believing

Note from JesusDear Precious One,

I know faith is not easy, especially now living nearly two thousand years after My death, burial, and resurrection. So I want us to spend today and the next two days together delighting in your faith. Our tour guide is My impetuous and dramatic apostle, Peter. We will be reading from the opening words of his small letter (1 Peter) to believers in Asia Minor. Like you, those people had never seen Me. They had to take the testimony of others who had. They were facing imminent persecution like many of My followers face right now in a lot of places in the world. Peter wanted to affirm their faith and also to emphasize several great blessings that accompanied their faith. I want you to delight in these things that he said and be blessed. Each day, the special focus sections will be in bold so you won’t miss them!

Before sharing the verses from 1 Peter, I want to remind you of the promise I made to Thomas — a promise I shared with you in yesterday’s verses:Eight days later, they [the disciples] gathered again behind locked doors; and Jesus reappeared. This time Thomas was with them.

Jesus:May each one of you be at peace.He drew close to Thomas.

Jesus:Reach out and touch Me. See the punctures in My hands; reach out your hand, and put it to My side; leave behind your faithlessness, and believe.Thomas (filled with emotion):You are the one True God and Lord of my life.Jesus:Thomas, you have faith because you have seen Me. Blessed are all those who never see Me and yet they still believe.(John 20:26-29)Notice those words in bold! I have a special blessing for you — you who believe without having ever seen Me.

Your faith is precious! It stands guard over your heart and protects you to receive a salvation and share in a glory that you won’t fully enjoy until you discover it “completely at the end of things.” It is more valuable than gold. Your faith gives you something that can’t be stolen. That faith has given you something that isn’t perishable — it won’t wear out or decay. That faith is connecting you to true and eternal salvation.

So today, I want you to take a moment and be thankful for the gift of your faith!

Your faith was planted in your heart and nurtured by someone for whom you should give thanks.

Your faith connects you to Me, and I am more powerful than death and all the forces of hell.

Your faith is protected by the power of God if you are willing to nurture it and rejoice in it.

Your faith is placed in Me and what We — Father, Son, and Spirit — have accomplished in My resurrection from the dead and in the power that is continuously being released into your life as you keep your faith focused on Me.

Your faith is the door of grace opening to you so that you can receive all that salvation is meant to offer you — now and forevermore.

Thank you for believing! I left heaven to win your heart, to give you a reason to believe, and to give you a hope that can endure until we see each other face-to-face and your faith becomes sight and we rejoice together… forever!Verses to LivePeter was present when I was talking with Thomas in the verses quoted above from John’s gospel. The second paragraph below echoes the things that I said to Thomas about you and others who have faith without having seen Me. Notice the things that Peter associates with your faith: “a living hope,” “eternal inheritance,” “never fade or fail,” “salvation,” “praise, honor, and glory,” and “joy that is glorious and beyond words.”Blessed is God, the Father of our Lord Jesus, the Anointed One! Because He has raised Jesus the Anointed from death, through His great mercy we have been reborn into a living hope — reborn for an eternal inheritance, held in reserve in heaven, that will never fade or fail. Through faith, God’s power is standing watch, protecting you for a salvation that you will see completely at the end of things. You should greatly rejoice in what is waiting for you, even if now for a little while you have to suffer various trials. Suffering tests your faith which is more valuable than gold (remember that gold, although it is perishable, is tested by fire) so that if it is found genuine, you can receive praise, honor, and glory when Jesus the Anointed, our Liberating King, is revealed at last.

Although you haven’t seen Jesus, you still love Him. Although you don’t yet see Him, you do believe in Him and celebrate with a joy that is glorious and beyond words. You are receiving the salvation of your souls as the result of your faith.
(1 Peter 1:3-9)Please remember Peter’s words. Especially remember them when you are facing difficulties because of your faith. Please remember Peter’s words when you are wondering whether it is worthwhile to continue along the path of faith. Peter’s words were spoken with the integrity of proven and challenged faith. Peter’s words were tested by fire. He had endured hardship, ridicule, threat, and persecution and yet refused to renounce his faith in Me after My resurrection. When facing possible death if he and his fellow apostles continued to proclaim My resurrection, Peter and the apostles said:If we have to choose between obedience to God and obedience to any human authority, then we must obey God. The God of our ancestors raised Jesus from death. You [the religious leaders] killed Jesus by hanging Him on a tree, but God has lifted Him high, to God’s own right hand, as the Prince, as the Liberator. God intends to bring Israel to a radical rethinking of our lives and to a complete forgiveness of our sins. We are witnesses to these things. There is another witness, too — the Holy Spirit — Whom God has given to all who choose to obey Him.
(Acts 5:29-32)Response in PrayerO Father, thank You for those who first introduced Me to Jesus, for those who nurtured my freshly-born faith, for those who challenged my faith to grow, and thank You for the promised blessings for those of us who believe. I do believe, dear Father; I believe that Jesus is Your Son, the Messiah of Your people Israel and all who believe in Him, and Lord of all creation… as well as my Lord and Savior, in Whose name I pray. Amen.’A Year with Jesus’ is written by Phil Ware. © 1998-2022, Heartlight, Inc. ‘A Year with Jesus’ is part of the Heartlight Network.All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from The Voice™. © 2008 by Ecclesia Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Great Joy in Believing
Source: Passion for Praise