Joy in Believing

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“Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory.” (1 Peter 1:8)

After His resurrection, the Lord acknowledged the legitimate need for evidence of such a mighty miracle, honoring the request of Thomas to see for himself that He had, indeed, returned from the grave. Nevertheless, Thomas could and should have believed the evidence from the other disciples,when they testified of the empty tomb and the previous appearances of Christ. Consequently, the Lord Jesus gave a mild but loving rebuke to His doubting disciple. “Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed” (John 20:29).

It is not that the Lord wants us to be credulous, believing something with no basis except blind faith. Today we have an abundance of solid evidence, more even than the disciples themselves had, and there is no excuse not to believe. Nevertheless, we must believe; “For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it” (Romans 8:24-25).

We cannot yet see Him with our eyes, as Thomas did, but we see Him with our hearts, and that is enough. As we read of Him in the Word, we see Him on the cross, taking “our sins in his own body” (1 Peter 2:24) and it breaks our hearts. Then we read of the empty tomb and the linen clothes, and are like John, who “saw, and believed” (John 20:8). Then we “rejoice with joy” (literally, “exult with exceeding gladness”), which cannot be told vocally any more than He can be seen visually. One day soon we shall really see Him in His glory, and “when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is” (1 John 3:2). HMM