R: “Though you have not seen him, you love him.” v.8
E: Peter is writing to scattered believers. “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!” Peter is emphasizing how great the reward in Christ, regardless of any present suffering. They are a people who through faith are shielded by God’s power. If they are shielded by God’s power, their suffering is only permitted by God. Their sufferings have come to prove their faith genuine and to glorify Christ. Satan receives no glory from their suffering.
In their faith, the believers are filled with an “inexpressible and glorious joy.” This joy comes not though seeing, but through the salvation of their souls… the goal of their love and belief even though they cannot see.
The Spirit of Christ pointed the prophets to the suffering of Christ and his glories. The prophets committed themselves to revealing Christ for our sake.
A: The world usually sees suffering and grief as defeat: Satan has caused suffering, therefore he is made stronger in his victory and receives glory. But God’s power is a shield much stronger than Satan. He has no power, no victory, no glory. When I suffer, I need to realize that it’s not a defeat. My suffering is allowed by God to prove my faith genuine and result in praise, glory, and honor for Him. Therefore, I should rejoice in my suffering, turn to the face of God, and be filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy.
P: I want to live with an inexpressible and glorious joy… a joy that cannot go unnoticed. I pray that I will embrace suffering and see it for what it is, a refining of my faith. I pray that I will be aware of Your shielding power and that no harm will befall me beyond what you have allowed. You have prepared a place for me and my time now is only to bring you praise, glory, and honor. Help me to love You when I cannot see you, to believe in You when I cannot see You.