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Faith is a strange thing.  Peter describes the Christian’s relationship with their Lord, the relationship of faith, in these words:

“Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls” (1 Pet. 1:8-9).

Faith is about belief, trust, love for someone you have not seen.  Faith means that Jesus Christ, who you have never seen with your eyes, is dearest to you of all.  Faith is not unreasoning or unreasonable, but it requires something beyond what your senses can verify.  For whatever reason, this is what God particularly desires from us: not that we are talented or beautiful or brilliant or wealthy or powerful, but that we believe Him.  Come to Him; trust Him; obey Him; love Him.

That relationship of love, faith in the unseen Lord, has an astonishingly powerful influence over the rest of life.  The unseen Lord trumps all of the trials and terrors that can be seen, and joy results.  This is the story of the early church, of apostles who sang in prison chains and martyrs who boldly faced the Roman lions.

Faith can sustain you.  If you know the unseen Lord, believe Him, and love Him, you can know joy in the midst of suffering.

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