by Kay Hardin

There is wonderful joy ahead, even though we must endure many trials for a little while….

We love Jesus even though we have never seen him. Though we do not see him now, we trust him; and we rejoice with a glorious, inexpressible joy.”  –1 Peter 1:6 & 8  (NLT lightly adapted)

These verses the Apostle Peter spoke could be drilled down to this:

Wonderful joy.

Many trials.

Love Jesus.

Trust Jesus.

Glorious, inexpressible joy.

Do you see what I see? Joy frames these verses. Joy is the beginning and the end. Joy encapsulates the hardships, the trials, the disappointments. How?  

Because we love Jesus. 

Because we trust Jesus.  

Because we put all of who we are—the deceptive parts, the compassionate parts, the fearful parts, the ye-of-little-faith parts, the gregarious parts, the faith-following parts—into the wonder-working hands of Jesus.

A patient I saw at the hospital years ago was quietly crying as I entered her room. The nurse told me the lady’s cancer had spread. When I approached her, I asked how she was doing with this devastating news. Her ice blue eyes held mine as tears rolled down her face. She held out her hand—palm up—and pointed with her other hand to her palm. 

“This is how I am doing. Years ago Jesus forgave me and filled my life with his transforming love and powerful presence. He has kept me in the palm of his hand throughout all the storms in my life. Even now in this time of disappointing health discoveries, he holds me securely in his hand. 

And I’m not moving. 

I am right there in the center of his palm trusting him for my healing in whatever form he brings it.”

Her face was glowing through the tears and bad news. She was solid in her soul and life because of Jesus. Her trust and joy filled that hospital room.

For many of us, these last several years have been worrisome, grievous, lonely, and frightening. In the face of such times as these, I derive from Peter that as we make space for Jesus in our heart and life, we will know the fullness of a “glorious, inexpressible joy” in the face of any trouble encountered or cross carried. 

May it be so Oh LORD, amen.

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