Reflection Guide - 1 Peter 1:8-9

Key points from the sermon:

  • In these two verses, Peter, who lived and walked with Jesus, seems to marvel at the faith of those who didn’t live and walk with Jesus.  Though we haven’t physically seen Jesus, we can fully love Him - we can delight in Him. Though we don’t now see Him, we can believe (trust) in Jesus.  What we see right now are trials - and trials reveal what we trust. When writing to these discouraged Believers, Peter intentionally uses the words “love” and “believe” instead of “obey” - because our actions follow our affections.  God cares about our hearts first and foremost.  When Israel was at the height of their disobedience and sinfulness, God did not promise to give them new hands that would sin less.  He promised them new hearts that would be devoted to Him.

  • Furthermore, we can now - right now in the midst of trials - “rejoice with joy that is inexpressible.”  We know that Jesus has conquered sin and death. That is our joy no matter our present reality. However, this joy is NOT ignorant bliss.  As Christ-followers, we’re not called to deny hardship and pain.  Jesus entered pain and we too can enter pain, while holding onto the hope we have in Christ.

  • Peter also describes this joy as “filled with glory.”  It glorifies the LORD and it is a taste of Glory - as in the day of Glory when Christ returns, when God’s glory will be our light and our delight!  This is “the outcome of your faith.”

  • Lastly, Peter mentions “the salvation of (our) souls.”  We must remember that from our perspective salvation is a process.  As Christians, we have been saved from the penalty of sin (justification).  We are being saved from the power of sin (sanctification). And we will be saved from the presence of sin (glorification).

  • A quote from Charles Spurgeon sums up these verses well: “None of us have seen Christ.  We sometimes foolishly wish that we had. But believing in Him is better than merely seeing Him, for many saw Him when He was upon the earth and yet perished.  But no man ever truly believed in Him and then perished.”

Scripture to meditate on this week:

“Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me?  Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” - Jesus speaking to Thomas in John 20:29

Discussion Questions:

  1. What words do you notice in these verses?  What challenges you and what encourages you in these verses?  Do these verses remind you of other verses in the Bible?

  2. Do you love Jesus?  Do you delight in Him?  Do you believe in Him? How do you know?

  3. Is your joy “filled with glory”?  Why or why not? What does that even mean and how would that impact our daily lives and the lives of those around us? 

  4. What’s “the outcome of your faith”?

Practice:

This week let’s take notice of our joy (or lack thereof).  When are you joyful? Why are you joyful? How are you joyful?  Let your observations about joy give you insight to your heart and your beliefs.  Discuss your observations with your spouse or DNA group. And let’s pray that God strengthens our faith in Christ - that our joy may become more and more filled with glory!