Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him. 1 Peter 1:8
In the twilight of her years, Mrs. Goodrich’s thoughts came in and out of focus along with memories of a challenging and grace-filled life. Sitting by a window overlooking the waters of Michigan’s Grand Traverse Bay, she reached for her notepad. In words she soon wouldn’t recognize as her own she wrote: “Here I am in my favorite chair, with my feet on the sill, and my heart in the air. The sun-struck waves on the water below, in constant motion—to where I don’t know. But thank You—dear Father above—for Your innumerable gifts and Your undying love! It always amazes me—How can it be? That I’m so in love with One I can’t see.”
The apostle Peter acknowledged such wonder. He had seen Jesus with his own eyes, but those who would read his letter had not. “Though you have not seen him . . . you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy” (1 Peter 1:8). We love Jesus not because we’re commanded to, but because with the help of the Spirit (v. 11) we begin to see how much He loves us.
It’s more than hearing that He cares for people like us. It’s experiencing for ourselves the promise of Christ to make the wonder of His unseen presence and Spirit real to us at every stage of life.
Read 1 Peter 1:3–9 again. In what ways do these words show you how our God makes the inexpressible real to us? How open are you to the Spirit of Jesus, who lives in and among us?
Our Father in heaven, please help me to see the miracle of Your love and presence in Your Son and to believe in Your Spirit.
The Greek word for hope in the New Testament (elpis) is used in much the same way as the Old Testament words for hope—to emphasize waiting in expectation for God’s promised future (see Psalm 39:7). But the New Testament emphasizes Jesus as the ultimate source for hope and the ultimate demonstration of God’s goodness and faithfulness. In 1 Peter 1, the author describes believers’ “living hope” as rooted securely in the future accomplished by Christ’s death and resurrection (v. 3). It’s this hope that helps believers survive times of great hardship in expectation of the final “salvation” (v. 5) that will “be revealed in the last time.” Here, “salvation” refers to the final and complete deliverance from evil and death that will be accomplished at Jesus’ final return.