Do You Truly Experience the Joy of Your Salvation?
The Apostle Peter in his book 1 Peter 1: 8-9 (ESV) said “8 Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, 9 obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” You see the joy of one’s salvation could truly be experienced. It goes beyond emotional outbursts or constant pattern of physical and financial victories. It comes even at the times of nothingness and refinement. That is why the Apostle said in 1 Peter 4: 12-13 (ESV): “Beloved do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. 13 But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed.”.
Contrary to the pattern of the world that is trying to avoid or detest any sense of sacrifice but delights only in self-fulfillment and self-comfort, Christians who truly love God can really feel and experience joy during the times of trials. Why? Because they understand that their ultimate goal here on earth is to become Christ-like not only outwardly but most specially in their inner self. And you cannot be like Christ if you cannot feel the heart of the Savior in the situations you are in. You can never understand unless you feel the pain within that He died that all our sins may be forgiven and you are no better than the rest. We have all fallen short of the glory of God. The only difference is we were saved and transformed by His grace and not by any special character of ours. Jesus said “I am the way, the truth and the life”. Unless you have truly experienced the joy of being refined, then you do not truly know the truth of Christ. You cannot talk and share something you do not have. You must give a careful thought to this. You must seek God if you still do not experience this truth.
Trials are not only meant to refine our faith, which to God is greater than gold and silver. They were laid down for us that we may continue to seek Him with all our hearts, our minds and our strength. You see during the times of trials, our hearts are being purified and this is not easy to understand. Even as we pledge to love the Lord our God with all our hearts, our minds and our souls, it is easier said than done. The truth is, this is a very difficult command to obey. And only those who are committed to follow Jesus to the point of the Cross can truly fulfill this. God did say His people perish for lack of knowledge. We keep on calling on the name of the Lord , we want Him to be with us but we do not seem to understand what His presence brings. Remember that Malachi 3: 1-3 (ESV) states that “2 But who can endure the day of His coming, and who can stand when He appears? For He is like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap.3 He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and He will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, and they will bring offerings in righteousness to the Lord.” When God is present, refinement is inevitable. His holiness will make you see your unworthiness. All your self-will, your pride and your own sense of righteousness will be revealed in the presence of God. And you cannot help but cry for all these things that have truly hurt His heart. You cannot even find the words to express your deep regrets for the things you have done. And you begin to see the reality of God’s grace and love. As a response, you are filled with the desire to turn away from the things that has hurt your Savior’s heart.
Today as you stand before the Lord your God, consider this one thing: Physical and financial miracles may be duplicated, healings and other power-related events may also be performed by false prophets. But there is one thing that the devil could not do, and that is to repent for all the sins of your heart and thoughts. This adulterous generation will find it easier to do miracles than embrace repentance. Be careful then and see how you live your lives. Bear in mind what God said in 2 Peter 3 : 7 ( ESV): “7 But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.” Even before that fire comes, be ready everyday to welcome the refining fire of God and find great delight in being offered as a living sacrifice in the altar of God. Then you will taste the joy of being saved.