In 1 Peter 1:3-9, we see how the flood of blessing that flows from the Fountain of Life spreads: It blesses us first with new life (verse 3), which comes with hope already installed. It blesses us with a spectacular inheritance (verse 4) that is kept completely safe. Not only that, but it keeps us safe too (verse 5), even in the trials of life (verse 6). It blesses us (verse 7) with a faith of inestimable value, a faith that withstands suffering and results (to our utter amazement) in praise, glory, and honor.
And the Fountain of Life keeps flowing; the flood of blessing keeps rising (verse 8): “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.” Jesus once said that the Bible’s greatest command is to love God. Here it is presented not as a command but as a blessing that flows from God’s mercy. What greater blessing is there than to love God, to keep the greatest command not because we must (and no one can keep it for that reason) but because our heart is overflowing with love?
Those who love God are touched by a joy that they cannot put into words, one which people who have not experienced it simply don’t understand. Love for God, which comes from the love of God, instills joy in us even when we are rightly sad, deeply troubled, and unfairly treated. Love for God is the greatest blessing that flows from the Fountain of Life. It refreshes us and causes all good things to grow in our lives. Oh, to love God with all our heart, and soul, and mind, and strength! To do so is to enter heaven’s joys right here on earth.
There are two more things to say. First, this flood of blessings – new life, unassailable hope, an impenetrable shield, trials that purify but never petrify, confidence in daily life, and joy that persists regardless of circumstances – all this is possible because on the third day God raised Jesus from the dead. The opening into our world through which all these blessing flow is the resurrection of Jesus. You could almost say it was a flood of blessing that rolled the stone from the tomb.
The resurrection changes everything. The resurrection changes us. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead…”
And finally: The blessings of the Fountain of Life flow from the mercy of God, through the resurrection of Christ, but to the person who has faith in Jesus. Did you notice the emphasis on faith throughout this passage? God guards his own through faith (v. 5). People without an authentic, dynamic trust in God are like a computer without a firewall. All kinds of things can get through to cause them harm. The shield of God is activated by faith.
Look at verse 7. It is faith that is proved genuine in trials – not intelligence, not strength, not determination. It is faith that turns trials – and everyone has trials – to a believer’s advantage. They are painful still, but full of purpose, and are preparing us for glory when Jesus Christ is revealed. Trials endured without faith, on the other hand, are ultimately meaningless.
Verse 8 show us that faith is a prerequisite to joy. It is as we believe in him that we are filled with joy. This belief is not mere assent to a doctrine, not even the doctrine that Christ died for our sins. It is a personal trust in Christ. In the Bible, genuine trust in Christ always involves entrusting our lives to Christ. And by, “our lives,” I do not mean our eternal destiny after we die but our actual lives while we live.
The Fountain of Life is filling the world with a flood of blessing. But the same flood that raises those who have faith and carries them into the life of the age to come submerges those who do not have faith.