Sunday, December 17, 2023

Advent Words 2023 ~ Word 8: Joy


Advent Words 2023
Word 8: Joy

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

Here is the promise of Advent: On the night of Jesus’ birth, an angel appeared to the shepherds and told them, “I bring you good news that will be great joy for all people. Today in the town of David, a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:10–11).This news of the arrival of Christ brought joy because the people knew the Savior would bring them salvation. During Advent, we celebrate Christ’s first coming with joy. Joy is our response to God’s gracious gift of salvation through His Son, Jesus Christ.

Joy is also a result of faith. Like the first readers of Peter’s letter, we are among those who have not seen Jesus. Yet, as Peter points out, we do not need to see him to love him. This is faith. Believing gives us eyes to see and ears to hear. Spiritual eyesight enables us to see God’s love for us through the gift of His Son. We love Him, we trust Him, and the result is inexpressible and glorious joy!

New Testament scholar Wayne Grudem says this joy Peter speaks of is “joy so profound as to be beyond the power of words." We have joy now because we have confidence that we are receiving the goal of our faith, the salvation of our souls. Peter stated earlier in this passage that we have an inheritance kept for us in heaven that can never perish, spoil, or fade (1 Peter 1:4). Our joy is rooted in the salvation we have received through Christ and in our hope of everlasting life with him. We have joy now because we are in His presence and have the hope of everlasting life—the joy of being in His presence forever.


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